Coffee Agroforests Remain Beneficial for Neotropical Bird Community Conservation across Seasons
This study compares bird community composition in coffee agroforestry systems with secondary forest fragments, while accounting for seasonal bird migration and differences in bird detectability between habitats. It was conducted in the San Luis Valley of northwest Costa Rica, a montane forest region that encompasses many microhabitats.
Research goals & methods
The study was conducted over a three-year period with mist-net sampling conducted four times per year (during breeding and non-breeding seasons and during wet and dry seasons). The seven study sites included coffee agroforestry systems and secondary forest patches with similar structural characteristics. A total of 73 bird species from 13 dietary guilds were captured over the course of the experiment. Results indicate that capture probability of bird dietary guilds was similar for both the coffee agroforest and the secondary forest.
Conclusions & takeaways
Although data suggest that species richness was greater in the coffee agroforest than in secondary forest, accounting for heterogeneity in capture probability shows that omnivorous and insectivorous birds were more common in the secondary forest than in the coffee agroforest. These results highlight that coffee agroforests play an important role in providing surrogate habitat and function as habitat corridors that can increase the overall connectivity of habitat at the landscape level.
Coffee Agroforests Remain Beneficial for Neotropical Bird Community Conservation across Seasons. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e65101. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065101..
- Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia
- Daniel B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia