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Title: Island vs. countryside biogeography: an examination of how Amazonian birds respond to forest clearing and fragmentation

Author: Wolfe, Jared D.; Stouffer, Philip C.; Mokross, Karl; Powell, Luke L.; Anciães, Marina M.;

Date: 2015

Source: Ecosphere. 6(12): 295

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)


Avian diversity in fragmented Amazonian landscapes depends on a balance between extinction and colonization in cleared and disturbed areas. Regenerating forest facilitates bird dispersal within degraded Amazonian landscapes and may tip the balance in favor of persistence in habitat patches. Determining the response of Amazonian birds to fragmentation may be hindered because many species use adjacent second growth matrices thereby limiting the applicability of island biogeography to predict species loss; alternatively, a countryside biogeographic framework to evaluate the value of regenerating forest may be more appropriate. Here, we used point-count and capture data to compare Amazonian bird communities among continuous forest, 100 ha forest fragments with adjacent second growth, young and older second growth plots, and 100 ha forested islands bounded by water, to test the applicability of island biogeography on the mainland and to assess the ecological value of a regenerating matrix. Among foraging guilds, understory insectivores and flocking species were nearly absent on true islands. Fragments surrounded by young second growth were species rich, suggesting that a developing matrix may mitigate extinction associated with fragmentation. Our findings reinforce that true islands are often extinction-driven systems with distinct, depauperate communities. In contrast, succession of bird communities in second growth facilitates recolonization of forest fragments, permitting fragments as small as 100 ha to support bird communities similar to continuous forest.

Keywords: Balbina, central Amazon, continuous forest, countryside biogeography, forest fragment, island biogeography, second growth matrix, species richness, tropical bird

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Wolfe, Jared D.; Stouffer, Philip C.; Mokross, Karl; Powell, Luke L.; Anciães, Marina M 2015. Island vs. countryside biogeography: an examination of how Amazonian birds respond to forest clearing and fragmentation. Ecosphere. 6(12): 295.


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