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GODOI, MAURICIO N.  and  SOUZA, EDIVALDO O. DE. The effects of forest-savanna-grassland gradients on bird communities of Chiquitano Dry Forests domain, in western Brazil. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2016, vol.88, n.3, suppl., pp.1755-1767.  Epub Sep 22, 2016. ISSN 0001-3765.

Different vegetation types are distributed in mountains according to altitude, topography and soil. The composition and structure of bird communities in these areas can change in relation to the vegetation gradient, with particular communities occupying each habitat type. In this study we present the changes in composition, species richness and bird abundance over the gradient of forests, savannas and altitudinal grasslands of Maciço do Urucum, a mountainous region located in the Chiquitano Dry Forests domain in western Brazil. We recorded 165 bird species through qualitative and quantitative methods. Forested savannas, riparian forests and submontane forests presented the highest richness and abundance of birds, while arboreal savannas and altitudinal grasslands had intermediate and low values, respectively. The bird composition was similar between riparian and submontane forests, while other vegetation types present more dissimilar bird communities. Our results show differences in composition, richness and bird abundance among the vegetation types present at Maciço do Urucum, and highlight an important function of vegetation gradients for the conservation of bird communities in mountains. Additionally, this is the first study of the bird communities in the Brazilian Chiquitano Dry Forests, an important domain in the west of Brazil which has been poorly studied.

Keywords : altitudinal grasslands; avian communities; Chiquitano Dry Forests; habitat diversity; habitat use; mountains.

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