The importance of isolated patchs to the maintenance of local avifauna and ecosystem functions: case study in the Pernambuco Center of endemism, northeastern of Brazil.

Marcio Amorim Efe


Birds are key players in ecosystems, and their functional role and community structure is important to the maintenance of their habitat. The highly degraded Atlantic Forest is currently a group of isolated patches, with the Pernambuco Center of Endemism as one of the priority areas for species and ecosystem functions conservation. The Mata do Cedro, located at Alagoas state, northeastern Brazil, is a forest fragment surrounded by sugarcane matrix, and acts as a refuge to threatened bird species, some endemic to the area. This study characterized the bird community by species abundance, their frequency of occurrence, use of habitat and sensitivity to human disturbance. A functional dendrogram was made, in order to comprehend the functional roles of species. We registered 111 species, most resident and forest dependent, and insectivorous followed by frugivorous are the most representative trophic categories. Of the species found, 11 are highly sensitive to human disturbances and 12 are endemic to the Pernambuco Center of Endemism. The bird community of the fragment is characterized as highly diversified, with endemic taxa and balanced trophic categories, typical of preserved tropical forests. The community structure and the occurence of threatened species reinforce the importance of Mata do Cedro to the maintenance of local biodiversity and ecosystem functions.

Iheringia Série Zoologia

Museu de Ciências Naturais, Fundação Zoobotânica do Rio Grande do Sul

Rua Dr. Salvador França, 1427, 90690-000 Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil