Sustainable Use of the Tropical Rain Forest: Evidence from the Avifauna in a Shifting-Cultivation Habitat Mosaic in the Colombian Amazon

  • German I. Andrade
  • Heidi Rubio-Torgler


Many bird species of Amazonian forests are adapted to habitat mosaics produced by natural disturbance regimes (Haffer 1991), among which the most important are large-magnitude and high-intensity disturbances (sensu Connell & Slatyer 1977) produced by the action of the rivers on the upland forests (Foster 1980; Salo et al. 1986). The river-created habitats support as much as 15% of the avifauna in the Amazon river banks (Remsen & Parker 1983). These habitats are also the source of many species that invade disturbed areas in the upland forests (Terborgh & Weske 1969). Within the “terra firme” forest, tree-fall gaps are the most common natural disturbances (small magnitude and low intensity; sensu Connell & Slatyer 1977) and are integral to forest dynamics (Dens-low 1987). Schemske and Brokaw (1981) observed in Panama that natural tree-fall gaps sustain 26% of the bird species that inhabit the forest interior. Similar results were obtained in Puerto Rico and Costa Rica (Wunderle et al. 1987; Levey 1988a). More recently, attention has been drawn to the study of the effect of anthropogenic disturbance, especially on the composition and diversity of avifaunas and the ability of bird species to survive in fragmented and isolated habitats (Willis 1979; Bierregaard 1986; Lovejoy & Bierregaard 1990).


Secondary Growth Trophic Group Upland Forest Forest Bird Habitat Mosaic 
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Copyright information

© The Society for Conservation Biology and Blackwell Science, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • German I. Andrade
  • Heidi Rubio-Torgler

There are no affiliations available

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