Zoologia (Curitiba), Volume: 33, Issue: 5, Published: 2016
  • Heterogeneity of bird communities in a mosaic of habitats on a restinga ecosystem in southeast Brazil Conservation

    Gomes, Verônica S. da M.; Vecchi, Maurício B.; Loiselle, Bette A.; Missagia, Caio C.C.; Alves, Maria Alice S.

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT Restinga occurs as a narrow band of coastal habitats throughout the Atlantic Forest, although it presents considerable variation in vegetation structure, which likely contributes to heterogeneity in species inhabiting this endangered ecosystem. The goal of this study is to examine how variation in vegetation and abiotic conditions in the restinga ecosystem may contribute to heterogeneity of bird communities in Restinga de Jurubatiba, Brazil. Temperature, relative humidity, and vegetation structure were sampled to characterize four sites (dry forest, flooded forest, open scrub and closed scrub). Birds were sampled using observations, mist-netting and voice recordings. Results indicate that major differences of all variables occur between forest and scrub in both vegetation and birds. In addition, differences also exist within forests and within scrub, resulting in considerable heterogeneity among sampled areas. Scrub sites were richer in bird species (n = 58) than forest sites (n = 41), while closed scrub had the most species (n = 49). Also, 64% (47 of 73) of bird species were exclusive to forest or scrub habitats. Scrub habitats were more similar to each other than forest habitats. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) calculated from satellite images distinguished scrub sites and may be useful to monitor changes in vegetation patches through time. The restinga ecosystem is quite heterogeneous with considerable turnover in bird species composition and differences in vegetation structure. Forest strips may serve as connectors on the landscape and to help maintain species diversity and conservation of forest species. Also, this highly dynamic ecosystem, which includes a mosaic of habitat types, likely promotes resilience of bird populations under changing conditions.
  • Review of thirty-two years of toothed whale strandings in Santa Catarina, southern Brazil (Cetacea: Odontoceti) Conservation

    Vianna, Thaís dos S.; Loch, Carolina; Castilho, Pedro V. de; Gaidzinski, Morgana C.; Cremer, Marta J.; Simões-Lopes, Paulo C.

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT Marine mammal strandings provide valuable insights into local biodiversity. Strandings can be caused by both natural and anthropogenic factors. In the state of Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil, organized marine mammal collections started in the 1980s through opportunistic and non-systematic collection efforts, representing a record of over 30 years of marine biodiversity. This study aimed to perform a preliminary review of 32 years of stranding records within this region. The secondary aim was to elucidate the stranding dynamics of the three most commonly recorded species. A total of 460 records were obtained, representing 17 species of odontocetes. The species registered most frequently were the franciscana, Pontoporia blainvillei (Gervais & d' Orbigny, 1844) (n = 173), bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821) (n = 100), and Guiana dolphin Sotalia guianensis (Van Bénéden, 1864) (n = 97). Most of the stranding records were observed in the second half of the year during the austral winter and spring. The apparent causes of death could not be determined for most of the specimens due to carcass decomposition. For the specimens in which the apparent cause of death could be determined, 27% of the strandings were compatible with anthropogenic interactions. While the focus of this study was a preliminary assessment of stranding data obtained through opportunistic collection, it is evident that future systematic monitoring efforts and stable networks of collaborators will generate more reliable coastal biodiversity inventories and will allow the knowledge of population dynamics of marine mammal species. In particular, for threatened and vulnerable species, or species with poor natural history data, strandings are a fundamental tool for the understanding of marine biodiversity. Ideally, future more refined analyses of stranding data should be used to inform conservation and management policies and to elucidate the biology and ecology of marine and coastal ecosystems within this region.
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