FEEDING ECOLOGY OF A PARROT ASSEMBLAGE IN THE BRAZILIAN CERRADO

Authors

  • José Ragusa-Netto Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso do Sul.

Keywords:

Frugivory, Granivory, Phenology, Psittacidae, Brazil, Diet.

Abstract

In this study, during two years, I documented the feeding habits of a parrot assemblage in response to food resources offer (abundance, nº of food species, and diversity), across a habitat mosaic in the Brazilian Cerrado. In addition, to each parrot species, I compared variations in those parameters across seasons, as well as in the feeding niche breadth. The feeding activity of every parrot species paralleled both food abundance and the number of food species available. In fact, despite fluctuations, food abundance, the number of food species, and diversity exhibited similar values through seasons, suggesting a trend for adequate food supply across the three major habitat types (palm swamp, gallery forest, and the dominant Cerrado vegetation). Excepting Orthopsittaca manilata (foraged only on Mauritia  flexuosa fruit pulp), all other five species (Ara ararauna, Amazona aestiva, Alipiopsitta xanthops, Eupsittula aurea, and Diopsittaca nobilis) showed wide feeding niche breadth. Their broad diets resulted from the opportunist use of a rich collection of seasonal food species. Moreover, they presented diet association according to plant part eaten, in which parrot’s diet displayed a gradient that had an increasingly greater dominance of seeds (A. ararauna, A. aestiva, and A. aurea), to a diet composed mainly by fruit pulp and flowers (A. xanthops, and D. nobilis). The accelerated fragmentation process of the Brazilian Cerrado has been suppressing habitat types in which unpredictable and scattered food patches might be available to parrots. Thus, conservation plans should prioritize the inclusion of habitat mosaics, at least, in the form documented here. As a concern, in the smaller Cerrado remnants, food resources available may be scarce, mainly in terms of the variety and abundance year-round required by parrots.

Author Biography

José Ragusa-Netto, Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso do Sul.

Departamento de Ciências Naturais, Campus Três Lagoas.

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Published

2022-10-25

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Articles