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Revista Brasileira de Zoologia

Print version ISSN 0101-8175


CINTRA, Renato  and  CANCELLI, Jessica. Effects of forest heterogeneity on occurrence and abundance of the scale-backed antbird, Hylophylax poecilinotus (Aves: Thamnophilidae), in the Amazon forest. Rev. Bras. Zool. [online]. 2008, vol.25, n.4, pp.630-639. ISSN 0101-8175.

Recently, a significant number of studies on neotropical forest bird communities have focused on factors influencing their richness, abundance, and habitat selection. However, few of them have considered populations or individual species, and how habitat structure affects their distribution and abundance. In this study, we investigated how the combined effects of some forest structure components affect the occurrence and abundance of a resident bird species, the scale-backed antbird Hylophylax poecilinotus (Cabanis, 1847). We tested the null hypothesis of no difference between the variation in forest structure components at locations where birds occurred and at locations where they did not. In a pristine Terra Firme forest at the Ducke Reserve, Manaus, we recorded bird occurrence and abundance using mist nets in 56 transects (1 km long each) within a 9 x 9 km trail grid covering 6400 ha. Also in the same 56 transects, we set 50 x 50 m plots and recorded the following seven components of forest structure and landscape: 1) canopy opening, 2) leaf litter, 3) tree abundance, 4) logs, 5) snags, 6) streams, and 7) elevation. We evaluated their effects on avian occurrence and abundance by using models of Multiple Logistic Regression (for bird occurrence) and Multiple Linear Regression (for bird abundance). The results suggested that H. poecilinotus occurred significantly more often in lowland areas, in areas located farther away from streams, and in areas bearing thicker leaf litter. Hylophylax poecilinotus was also more abundant in lowland areas and in areas located further away from streams. Overall, the results indicated that environmental heterogeneity produced by variation in forest structure components affects habitat use by this bird species in the Amazon forest.

Keywords : Birds; micro-habitat structure; Terra Firme Forest.

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