Table of Contents
ISRN Ecology
Volume 2011, Article ID 324038, 13 pages
Research Article

Effects of Water Level Fluctuation on Waterbirds Distribution and Aquatic Vegetation Composition at Natural Wetland Reserve, Peninsular Malaysia

1Forest Education Division, Pakistan Forest Institute, 25130 Peshawar, Pakistan
2Faculty of Forestry, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Received 23 May 2011; Accepted 14 July 2011

Academic Editors: C. Jarnevich and D. C. Moon

Copyright © 2011 Muhammad Nawaz Rajpar and Mohamed Zakaria. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The effects of water level fluctuations on waterbirds distribution and aquatic vegetation composition was determined using distance sampling point count method and direct visual observation at Paya Indah Natural Wetland Reserve, Peninsular Malaysia. A total of 2563 waterbird individual of 28 species and 8 families were detected in three habitats, that is, marsh swamp (68.59%), open water body (18.42%), and lotus swamp (12.99%). Porphyrio porphyrio was the most dominant species in marsh swamp (45.39%), and lotus swamp (23.42%), whereas Dendrocygna javanica (42.16%) was the most abundant in open water body. The highest water level for marsh swamp (2.313 m) and lotus swamp (2.249 m) was recorded in January, 2008 and for open water body (2.572 m) in January and April, 2008. In contrast, the lowest water level for marsh swamp (2.048 m) and lotus swamp (1.834 m) was determined in October, 2008 and for open water body (2.398 m) in January, 2009. Pearson test indicates weak linear correlationship between water level and waterbird abundance in lotus swamp habitat (𝑟2=0.120,𝑃>0.05) and in marsh swamp (𝑟2=0.100,𝑃>0.05) and negative linear correlationship (𝑟2=0.710,𝑃>0.05) in open water body habitat. Canonical correspondence analysis indicated strong correlationship between waterbird abundance and vegetation (73.0%) in open water body, and weaker association (29.8%) in lotus swamp. The results of this study indicate that water level is a major factor that influences the relative abundance and distribution of ducks, swamphen, crakes, herons, jacanas, and moorhens directly and indirectly. In addition, it also effects on the dynamics of aquatic vegetation composition such as, emergent, submerged, and grasses in this wetland reserve.