Fire effects on the composition of a bird community in an amazonian Savanna (Brazil)

Efeitos do fogo na composição da comunidade de aves em uma Savana amazônica brasileira

The effects of fire on the composition of a bird community were investigated in an Amazonian savanna near Alter-do-Chão, Pará (Brazil). Mist-net captures and visual counts were used to assess species richness and bird abundance pre- and post-fire in an approximately 20 ha area. Visual counts along transects were used to survey birds in an approximately 2000 ha area in a nearby area. Results using the same method of ordination analysis (multidimensional scaling) showed significant effects of fire in the 20 ha and 2000 ha areas and strongly suggest direct effects on bird community composition. However, the effects were different at different spatial scales and/or in different years, indicating that the effects of fire vary spatially and/or temporally. Bird community composition pre-fire was significantly different from that found post-fire. Using multiple regression analysis it was found that the numbers of burned and unburned trees were not significantly related to either bird species richness or bird abundance. Two months after the fire, neither bird species richness nor bird abundance was significantly related to the number of flowering trees (Lafoensia pacari) or fruiting trees (Byrsonima crassifolia). Since fire is an annual event in Alter-do-Chão and is becoming frequent in the entire Amazon, bird community composition in affected areas could be constantly changing in time and space.

fire; savanna; Amazonia; birds; community

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