Effects of proximity to urban areas on a riparian bird community in remnant Atlantic Forest in southeastern Brazil

Ana Cecília de Paula Lourenço, Maria Cecília Barbosa de Toledo



The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of urban activities on the structure and composition of a bird community in riparian forests in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. The study was carried out in seven areas of remnant riparian forest where fixed points have been established to sample bird species. Richness, diversity, abundance, frequency and trophic groups were used as metrics of the bird community. At each point measurements were taken for: (1) habitat characteristics: average height of trees, number of trees above 2m, number of shrubs <2m and the percentage of canopy opening; (2) neighborhood characteristics: closest distance from open areas, highways, urban areas, river and floodplain to the point of observation. The observations resulted in 88 species of birds belonging to 34 families. The most representative families were Tyrannidae, Thraupidae and Picidae. The most predominant trophic groups were insectivorous (54%), omnivorous (11.5%) and frugivorous (10.3%). The results obtained showed that the number of trees explained the variation in abundance, while the mean height of the trees explained variations in richness and frequency. Overall, the bird community was negatively affected by proximity of urban areas and highways. In conclusion, the community of birds in the riparian forest may be affected by the loss of trees above 2m and by urbanization, leading mainly to the replacement of species belonging to specialist trophic groups by generalist species and those more adjusted to human presence.


bird community, habitat, landscape, Paraiba do Sul River, urban activities

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4136/ambi-agua.2313

Revista Ambiente & Água. ISSN:1980-993X DOI:10.4136/1980-993X

Editoração:Apoio:Filiada à ABEC: