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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

versão On-line ISSN 2007-8706versão impressa ISSN 1870-3453


DOMINGUEZ-LOPEZ, Moisés Elías  e  ORTEGA-ALVAREZ, Rubén. The importance of riparian habitats for avian communities in a highly human-modified Neotropical landscape. Rev. Mex. Biodiv. [online]. 2014, vol.85, n.4, pp.1217-1227. ISSN 2007-8706.

Intensification of agriculture and urban development are the main forces degrading natural ecosystems, particularly within species-rich countries. In this study, we determined the variation in bird communities between anthropogenic (i. e., cattle grazing lands, crop fields, urban areas) and riparian habitats within a highly human-modified landscape in northwestern Colombia. For this purpose, we assessed differences in bird community diversity, structure, and composition among studied habitats. We also investigated similarities of surveyed habitats according to the habitat preferences of species. Results showed that riparian habitats play a fundamental role in human-dominated landscapes, as they maintain diverse and complex bird communities, support interior forest bird species, and might promote heterogeneous bird communities in nearby habitats. Cattle grazing lands also exhibited heterogeneous bird communities, which might be a result of the presence of tall trees, abundant shrub cover, and proximity of riparian habitats. Few species were over dominant within crop fields and urban areas due to a simple vegetation structure, leading to homogeneous avian communities where disturbed-site species thrive. Given that increasing human population depends on agricultural and urban ecosystems worldwide, there is an urgent need to foster management and conservation activities within such ecosystems to support wildlife and enhance human welfare.

Palavras-chave : agriculture; birds; cattle grazing lands; cities; Colombia; rivers; urbanization.

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