, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 201-214

Bird species of black water inundation forests in the Jaú National Park (Amazonas state, Brazil): their contribution to regional species richness

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Abstract

We compared the relative contribution of blackwater inundation forest (igapó) and unflooded (terra firme) forest for regional bird species diversity in the lower Rio Negro region. For analyses of habitat preference we used mist-net samples and an unpublished bird species check-list. The igapó forest had lower bird species diversity than the terra firme forest. However, some 14% of the forest bird species in the region are restricted to igapó forest. Species composition was found to be distinct between the understories of the two forest types. Common forest bird guilds in the Neotropics such as ant-following birds avoid igapó forest. The differential habitat selection among birds in the inundated and unflooded forest is likely to result from vegetation structure and biological interactions such as aggressive behaviour. Since the inundated forest has a typical biota, conservation efforts needs to be directed to protect these habitats. Unfortunately, inundation forests are threatened by several human actions, especially dam construction. The extent of protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon is insufficient for the adequate protection of the inundated habitats, because it includes only 3% of the total area.