Influence of Structure and Composition of Riparian Strips and Isolated Trees of the Cloud Forest on the Seed-Dispersing Frugivorous Bird Community

9 Nov 2016 La Antigua River Basin, Mexico, Central and Latin America Birds | Plants

Omar Antonio Hernández Dávila

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10 May 2023

Ecology Restoration of Cloud Forest Riparian Strips in Fragmented Landscape in Veracruz, Mexico

The aim is determinate how the structure (height, DBH, coverage, etc.) and composition (species richness) of cloud forest riparian strips influence the frugivorous bird community.

Some of the seed dispersing bird Arremon brunneinucha.

Some of the seed dispersing bird Arremon brunneinucha.

Tropical montane cloud forest is one of the most diverse and important ecosystems at national level, but is also one of the most threatened. Fragmentation has produced different natural elements such as riparian strips and isolated trees. These play key roles in the maintenance of different animal groups, particularly birds. However, the structural and compositional characteristics of the riparian strips and isolated trees that influence the bird community are unknown. For these reason our main goal is determinate the elements or characteristics in terms of composition (species richness and relative abundance) and structure (tree height, coverage, DBH, basal area, life form, etc.) of these strips and adjacent isolated trees that may influence bird abundance and thus seed dispersion.

The determination of the characteristics of the riparian strips that influence the bird community will provide us with criteria of conservation and/or management that promote these riparian strips as sites of refuge and feeding for frugivorous birds, which act to ensure the dispersion of early or late succession plant species and, consequently, can contribute to the regeneration of cloud forest in abandoned fields. Furthermore, I consider it very important to determine the richness of plant species dispersed by the birds. This will allow us to identify the plant species of most importance to the birds and which species are key to cloud forest regeneration. Finally, an illustrated guide will be produced that allows identification of the most common bird species of the cloud forest and the seeds they disperse. The aim of this guide will be to raise awareness of the importance of birds as dispersing agents of numerous cloud forest plant species.

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