Birds are the major seed dispersers in tropical ecosystems and among the many ecological functions and services provided by them, seed dispersal may play as key element for ecosystem functioning, especially in terms of habitat regeneration. The study of the composition and ecological functions of bird communities, especially the frugivorous one, in different habitats in fragmented landscapes may to reveal valuable clues on ecosystem functioning and habitat regeneration at the landscape level. In this sense, the current project will approach the following questions or chapters: (1) how landscapes features can modulate the bird communities and its ecological functions in forest edges in highly fragmented and heterogeneous tropical landscapes? (2) how bird communities are organized in terms of spillover across forest-pasture and forest-eucalyptus plantation? (3) how landscapes features can modulate the frugivorous bird communities and its seed dispersal services at forest/pasture interfaces in highly fragmented and heterogeneous tropical landscapes? Birds communities was sampled by pairwise point counts at interfaces of forest/pasture (n=16, three times each one), forest/eucalyptus plantation (n=16, three time each one) and control points in continuous forest sites (n=2, three time each one) in a large fragmented region in southeastern Brazil. To evaluate how landscape features may affect the birds parameters with high ecological relevance (including ecosystem services), landscape metrics (forest cover and land use heterogeneity) was calculated from land use maps within four hierarchical spatial scales. In a general way, to test which predictor variables (landscape metrics) best describes the response variables (birds metrics) we will use regression linear e logistic regression and model selection (Akaike criterion, Generalized Linear Model and Mixed Effect Models, etc.) in R environment. During this passage thought University of East Anglia (with Prof. Carlos Peres as supervisor), the student intend to perform data analysis and write the thesis.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: