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Frugivory by five bird species in agroforest home gardens of Pontal do Paranapanema, Brazil

Abstract

The inefficiency of conservation efforts based exclusively on natural habitat patches has called the attention of some conservationists to the matrix. Described as the major component of a landscape, the matrix is often agricultural, particularly in the tropics. In this context, agroforestry practices have been recognized for their ability to support a rich fauna and flora. Besides the extensive literature concerning bird communities in agroforestry systems, very few studies analyze how different species respond to the management of such practices. Our study describes the diet and habitat use frequency of five frugivorous bird species in agroforest home gardens, secondary forests, and pastures in the region of Pontal do Paranapanema, Brazil. The focal species were Ramphastos toco (Toco Toucan), Pteroglossus castanotis (Chestnut-eared Aracari), Amazona aestiva (Blue-fronted Amazon), Ara chloroptera (Green-winged Macaw), and Cyanocorax chrysops (Plush-crested Jay). We gathered both habitat use frequency and diet using the “feeding-bout” method. Overall frequency was higher in the secondary forest when compared to pasture and home gardens for all bird species except A. aestiva. The number of feeding bouts was higher in home gardens than in forests for all species with the exception of C. chrysops. Differences in monthly median feeding activity were only statistically significant for C. chrysops and for A. aestiva. The latter was the only species observed feeding in pasture habitats. The total number of food taxa was larger in home gardens than in the forest. Our results reinforce the importance of agroforestry systems as a resource-rich habitat for frugivorous birds.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by CAPES and the University of Michigan. Thanks to Prof. Claudia Jacobi, Prof. Marcos Rodrigues, Pedro Viana, Fernando Marino, Prof. Lúcia Maria Horta de Figueiredo, Prof. Eugênio Marcos A. Goulart (Federal University of Minas Gerais), Prof. Ricardo Rudi Laps (Regional University of Blumenau), Prof. Irene Maria Cardoso (Federal University of Viçosa), Prof. Jorn Schalermann (Cambridge University), Michael Jahi Chapell (University of Michigan), Jefferson Lima (Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas), Prof. Miguel Â. Marini (University of Brasília), Marcelo Corrêa da Silva (University of Goiania), Prof. Maíra F. Goulart (Federal University of Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valley) e Prof. Alexandre Uezu (Institute for Ecological Research-IPE). Thanks to all the people of Pontal, Dona Jovelina, Sr Antônio, Zezão, Mauro, Bruno, Michel, George, Dona Terezinha, Dona Cida, Renata, Sardinha (in memoriam), Marcelo, Jeison, Sr Joel, and especially José Carlos and his family, for all the support and affection. We also would like to acknowledge anonymous revisers for the meaningful comments to the draft.

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Correspondence to Fernando Figueiredo Goulart.

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Goulart, F.F., Vandermeer, J., Perfecto, I. et al. Frugivory by five bird species in agroforest home gardens of Pontal do Paranapanema, Brazil. Agroforest Syst 82, 239 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-011-9398-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-011-9398-z

Keywords

  • Agroenvironment
  • Bird conservation
  • Feeding ecology
  • Agriculture intensification
  • Feeding bouts