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Species richness related to landscape characteristics of uninhabited islands in Korea

Author(s): Rho, Paikho

Journal: Journal of Ecology and Field Biology
ISSN 1975-020X

Volume: 33;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 105;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: designated island | distance to mainland | island area | island biogeography | landscape pattern index

The principal objective of this study was to characterize the relationships between geographical conditions (e.g., island area, distance to mainland) and landscape structures of uninhabited islands, and to evaluate the effects of islands and their landscape structures on species richness. One hundred randomly selected islands and 5,000 m buffered areas derived from the boundaries of each island were used to summarize the number of observed bird species, and landscape pattern indices, particularly patch density, edge density, shape index, and mean nearest neighboring distance. Spatial arrangements of individual patch type at the class level, which are markedly affected by the distance from an island to the mainland, have a superior ability to explain the variances in species richness, as compared to the geographical conditions and landscape pattern indices at the landscape level. The results demonstrate that the patch type landscape structure is the primary factor affecting species richness, as well as the distance to the mainland. In particular, landscape pattern indices of cropland/pasture and woody cover are statistically significant in terms of explaining species richness, which suggests that food resources and appropriate conditions in landscape structures of habitat types are assumed as important elements in attracting bird species. This study also proposes the importance of evaluation on the landscape structure of each island, in order to designate protected areas and to establish a management plan for species conservation in uninhabited islands.
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