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Effect of fragmentation on the Costa Rican dry forest avifauna.


ABSTRACT: Deforestation and changes in land use have reduced the tropical dry forest to isolated forest patches in northwestern Costa Rica. We examined the effect of patch area and length of the dry season on nestedness of the entire avian community, forest fragment assemblages, and species occupancy across fragments for the entire native avifauna, and for a subset of forest dependent species. Species richness was independent of both fragment area and distance between fragments. Similarity in bird community composition between patches was related to habitat structure; fragments with similar forest structure have more similar avian assemblages. Size of forest patches influenced nestedness of the bird community and species occupancy, but not nestedness of assemblages across patches in northwestern Costa Rican avifauna. Forest dependent species (species that require large tracts of mature forest) and assemblages of these species were nested within patches ordered by a gradient of seasonality, and only occupancy of species was nested by area of patches. Thus, forest patches with a shorter dry season include more forest dependent species.

SUBMITTER: Barrantes G 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5028763 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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