The urban contrast: A nationwide assessment of avian diversity in Mexican cities: A nationwide assessment of avian diversity in Mexican cities

Ian MacGregor-Fors, Juan F. Escobar-Ibáñez, Jorge E. Schondube, Iriana Zuria, Rubén Ortega-Álvarez, J. Roberto Sosa-López, Irene Ruvalcaba-Ortega, R. Carlos Almazán-Núñez, Moisés Arellano-Delgado, Stefan L. Arriaga-Weiss, Alejandra Calvo, Leonardo Chapa-Vargas, Perla X. Silvestre Lara, Juan H. García-Chávez, Osvel Hinojosa, Juan M. Koller-González, Carlos Lara, Samuel López de Aquino, Dulce López-Santillán, Elisa Maya-ElizarrarásJuan P. Medina, José de Jesús Moreno Navarro, Luis E. Murillo García, Landy Orozco, Rubén Pineda-López, Erick R. Rodríguez-Ruíz, José R. Tinajero Hernández, Ligia B. Torres Abán, Jorge H. Vega-Rivera

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    In this study we focused on urban bird diversity across Mexico, a megadiverse country, with a special focus on the relative role of urban greenspaces and heavily-built sites. We considered a country-wide approach, including 24 different sized Mexican cities. Our aims were to describe the urban bird diversity in focal cities and further assess the relationships between it and the biogeographic region where cities are located, their size, elevation, and annual rainfall. Additionally, we evaluated differences in the functional composition of bird communities in both studied urban scenarios (i.e., urban greenspaces, heavily-built sites). Our results confirm that urban greenspaces are home to a large proportion of species when contrasted with heavily-built sites. While total species richness and species richness of greenspaces were related with the cities' biogeographic region –with higher species richness in the Neotropical region and Transition Zone–, the relationship did not hold true in heavily-built sites. We found that annual rainfall was negatively related to bird richness in heavily-built sites, suggesting that species from arid systems can be more tolerant to urbanization. Regarding the bird functional group assessment, results show a clear differentiation between the functional groups of greenspaces and those of heavily-built sites, with granivores and omnivores associated with the latter and a highly diverse array of functional groups associated with urban greenspaces.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number141915
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    StatePublished - 20 Jan 2021


    • Birds
    • Cities
    • Mexico
    • Nearctic
    • Neotropics
    • Urban ecology
    • Urban green areas


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