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Print version ISSN 0001-3765On-line version ISSN 1678-2690


REIS, Matheus G.; FIEKER, Carolline Z.  and  DIAS, Manoel M.. The influence of fire on the assemblage structure of foraging birds in grasslands of the Serra da Canastra National Park, Brazil. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2016, vol.88, n.2, pp.891-901.  Epub May 13, 2016. ISSN 0001-3765.

Grasslands are the most threatened physiognomies of the Cerrado biome (Brazilian savanna), a biodiversity hotspot with conservation as a priority. The Serra da Canastra National Park protects the most important remnants of the Cerrado's southern grasslands, which are under strong anthropogenic pressure. The present study describes the structure of bird assemblages that directly use food resources in burned areas, comparing areas affected by natural fire to the areas where controlled fires were set (a management strategy to combat arson). The tested null hypothesis was that different bird assemblages are structured in a similar manner, regardless of the post-fire period or assessed area. Between December/2012 and January/2015, 92 species were recorded foraging in the study areas. The results indicate that both types of burnings triggered profound and immediate changes in bird assemblages, increasing the number of species and individuals. Natural fires exhibited a more significant influence on the structure (diversity and dominance) than prescribed burnings. Nevertheless, all the differences were no longer noticeable after a relatively short time interval of 2-3 months after prescribed burnings and 3-4 after natural fires. The findings may help the understanding of prescribed burnings as a management strategy for bird conservation in grasslands.

Keywords : Cerrado biome; diversity; environmental management; prescribed burning; wildfire.

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