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Structure of bird assemblages in dry and seasonally flooded grasslands in Itirapina Ecological Station, São Paulo state

Estrutura das assembleias de aves em campos limpos secos e sazonalmente alagáveis na Estação Ecológica de Itirapina, estado de São Paulo

Grasslands are characteristic physiognomies of the Brazilian Cerrado domain. One of last remnants of these threatened environments in the state of São Paulo is located in Itirapina Ecological Station, considered as an Important Bird Area (IBA). We investigated bird assemblages that use seasonally flooded grasslands, and predominantly dry grasslands, from August 2010 until July 2011. We focused on aspects of assemblage structure, and possible responses of birds to environmental changes. We recorded 76 species, of which 23.7% are threatened. Some basic aspects of assemblages were similar between environments, such as diversity descriptors, and the tendency of increase richness in the same periods. Other parameters differed between environments, such as absolute richness, recorded monthly (lower in seasonally flooded grasslands). Considering time dimension in analyses, we observed differences in assemblage structure over time, within and between environments. When birds were grouped in guilds, assemblage structure did also differ. We identified significant correlations between the abundance of some guilds and environmental variables. Changes in the availability of resources and microhabitats may affect structure and organization of the studied bird assemblages.

avifauna; grasslands; microhabitat; food resource; seasonality

Instituto Internacional de Ecologia R. Bento Carlos, 750, 13560-660 São Carlos SP - Brasil, Tel. e Fax: (55 16) 3362-5400 - São Carlos - SP - Brazil