DIVERSIDAD DE AVES DE SOTOBOSQUE EN BOSQUES TROPICALES, ÁREAS DE REGENERACIÓN NATURAL Y CULTIVOS DE PALMA AFRICANA EN HUMEDALES DEL LAGO DE IZABAL, GUATEMALA
Keywords:Bird diversity, forest loss, Neotropical wetlands, oil palm crops
AbstractDiversity of understory birds in tropical forests, natural recovery areas, and African oil palm crops in wetlands of the Izabal Lake, Guatemala. – African oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) crops have been identified as one of the most important threats to biodiversity of tropical forests. By mean of mist nets, species richness, diversity and structure of understory bird communities were studied in three vegetation types of a Neotropical wetland: humid tropical forest remnants, natural regeneration sites (“guamiles”), and African oil palm plantations. We captured a total of 734 birds of 106 species, belonging to 22 families. The habitat with highest diversity was forest (63 species and 329 individuals), followed by guamiles (62 species and 368 individuals) and finally oil palm plantations (11 species and 37 individuals). As expected, statistical differences were found among the studied habitats. Only 11% of species and 5% of the total captured birds were recorded in the African oil palm plantations. Our data show that oil palm cultivation represents a serious threat to biological diversity, making it a priority to generate guidelines based on scientific and conservation criteria.
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