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Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(1): 47–53. ARTICLE March 2017 Seasonal variation of understory insectivorous birds and arthropods in an area of secondary Atlantic Forest, southeast Brazil 1,3 2 Ana Luísa de Carvalho Lima & Marco Antônio Manhães Programa de Pós-graduação em Ecologia e Conservação de Recursos Naturais, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Campus Umuarama, Rua Ceará, S/N, CEP 38400-902, Uberlândia, MG, Brazil. Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Campus Universitário, Bairro Martelos, CEP 36036-900, Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil. Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org Received on 18 December 2015. Accepted on 08 February 2017. ABSTRACT: Seasonal variation of understory insectivorous birds and arthropods was investigated in an area of secondary Atlantic Forest, in southeast Brazil. Birds were captured with mist-nets and arthropods collected on the ground and foliage. A total of 348 captures of 243 individuals belonging to 15 bird species were obtained. Among 3416 arthropods, 1782 were collected on the ground and 1634 on the foliage. There was no significant variation in numbers of captures, individuals and bird species between dry and rainy seasons. However, arthropods were more abundant on the foliage during the dry season and on the ground in the rainy season. In this way, although the number of arthropods varied between seasons, it seems to be a sufficient resource to insectivorous bir ds feeding along the year. Besides, these birds can present some plasticity, changing the frequency of their foraging tactics repertoire in search of this feeding resource. KEY-WORDS: arthropod abundance, foraging birds, seasonality, semideciduous forest, trophic ecology. INTRODUCTION can be a highly abundant and regular resource when compared to flowers and fruits (Buskirk & Buskirk 1976, Poulin et al. 1994), they may also present seasonal Insectivorous birds comprise most of the understory bird species in tropical forests (Cueto & Casenave 2000, variations, reducing their abundance in dry periods Dário et al. 2002), and together with the food resources (Develey & Peres 2000). Consequently, the uneven that they explore (insects and other arthropods), involve spatial and temporal distribution of this prey resource can influence the number of individuals or the composition important issues on ecological interactions (Karr et of insectivorous bird species in a community (Martin & al. 1982, Develey & Peres 2000, Codesido & Bilenca 2004). Some studies have evaluated the relationship Karr 1986, Horne & Bader 1990, Chesser 1995, Naranjo between food resources and dynamics of populations & Ulloa 1997). and bird communities in many temperate and tropical Most studies relating the composition of the bird communities to the available food resources have been regions (e.g. Loiselle & Blake 1990, Poulin & Lefebvre carried out with frugivorous birds (Moermond & 1996, Burger et al. 1999, Malizia 2001). However, few studies have investigated the responses of insectivorous Denslow 1985, Loiselle & Blake 1990), whereas studies birds to the availability of their feeding resources in forest with insectivores still remain restricted, mainly to the environments (Raley & Anderson 1990, Poulin et al. descriptive analysis of their diet (Ralph et al. 1985, Blake & Rougès 1997, Gomes et al. 2001, Rougès & Blake 1994, Manhães & Dias 2011). 2001).Thus, this study aimed to investigate the seasonal The prey consumed by understory insectivorous birds, found both on the ground and foliage of trees and relationship between the richness and abundance of shrubs, can vary in different microhabitats due to the understory insectivorous birds and arthropods from influence of abiotic conditions and vegetation structure different microhabitats (soil and foliage) in an area of the secondary Atlantic Forest in southeastern Brazil. (Smith et al. 1978). Furthermore, although arthropods Seasonal variation of understory insectivorous birds and arthropods in an area of secondary Atlantic Forest, southeast Brazil Lima & Manhães METHODS 06:00 h and 06:30 h and continued for 10 h on the first day and 9 h on the second, settling intervals of 30–45 min to monitoring nets. The sampling effort totaled 3040 Study area mist-net h, 1520 at each season. Birds captured were The study area is a secondary Atlantic Forest fragment marked with numbered aluminum rings, provided by with 56 ha (Manhães et al. 2010), classified as a lower Centro Nacional de Pesquisa e Conservação de Aves Silvestres (CEMAVE) of Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da montane semideciduous forest (Oliveira-Filho et al. Biodiversidade (ICMBio), and they were subsequently 2005) belonging to a private property named “Fazenda Continente”. The farm is located at 21°37'S; 43°21'W, released near the capture sites. The classification of bir ds between the municipalities of Juiz de Fora and Coronel followed Remsen-Jr. et al. (2015). Pacheco, Minas Gerais state, southeastern Brazil (Fig. 1). The altitude of the region varies between 670–800 m, and the climate is classified as Köppen Cwa (humid subtropical), with annual temperatures of around 20.2°C. The region has well-defined dry and rainy seasons (Granzinolli & Motta-Jr. 2006) and the annual rainfall varies around 1536 mm (Fig. 2). Bird samplings Birds were captured during December 2005, January and JF M A M J J A S O N D February 2006 (rainy season), and June and July 2006 Months (dry season). Birds were captured by using 12 × 3 m mist- Mean ± S.E. historic rainfall 2005/2015 Rainfall Dec 2005/Jul 2006. Dec 2005, Jan/Feb/Jun/Jul 2006 dotted. nets, with 38 mm mesh, installed at ground level in four pre-established transects (Fig. 1), standardizing 10 nets in Figure 2. Rainfall Dec 2005/Nov 2006. Dec 2005, Jan/Feb/Jun/ Jul 2006 dotted. Data from weather station of Juiz de Fora Federal line on each transect. Each transect was sampled twice for University. two consecutive days, with at least 20 days between the two samplings of the same transect, totaling 16 sampling Arthropod sampling days with mist-nets at each season. Captures began around Foliage arthropods were sampled using a branch-clipping technique, a method that involves pruning branches of trees or shrubs in the collection bags (Cooper & Whitmore 1990). Samplings between the left and right sides of the mist-nets were alternated every visit to the transect. For each sample, we used eight plastic bags (40 × 60 cm), and the samples were taken at about 1.5 m height and at a distance of 2–5 m perpendicular to the nets, excluding the first and t he tenth. Disturbance level in vegetation was maintained as low as possible. Branches were wrapped in bags and pruned. Bags with vegetation samples were weighed using 500 g Pesola scales. Vegetation was then shaken vigorously inside the bags to dislodge trapped arthropods, before being discarded. The remaining vegetation in the bags was carefully inspected on a cloth when the arthropods, collected with forceps, were transferred to envelopes and allowed to dry in a freezer. The inner walls of the bags were also inspected to check for possible arthropods adhered to them. Subsequently, the collected arthropods were counted and identified accor ding to Borror et al. (1976) and McGavin (2000). Due to the variation in the volume of vegetation in each sample, always higher than 100 g, the number of Figure 1. Map showing the localization of the study area and of the arthropods was adjusted to 100 g of vegetation (excluding sampling transects (net lines). The “Continente Farm ”, state of Minas the weight of the bag) in the seasonality analysis. Gerais, southeastern Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(1): 2017 Rainfall (mm) Seasonal variation of understory insectivorous birds and arthropods in an area of secondary Atlantic Forest, southeast Brazil Lima & Manhães Soil arthropods on the ground were captured using Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, considering soil (“pitfalls”) pitfall traps, consisting of plastic pots with a diameter of and foliage (“branch-clipping”) arthropods separately. 10 cm and depth of 15 cm, buried in the ground with For statistical analysis, we used the BioEstat 5.3 (Ayres borders at the surface level. Each pot was filled with 20 et al. 2007). ml of a solution with water and inodorous soap (10%), modified from Haugaasen et al. (2003). Plastic screens were fitted for each trap at about 25 cm a bove the ground RESULTS to prevent falling leaves and twigs from entering the pots. In each of the transects sampled with mist-nets, eight There were 348 captures of insectivorous bir ds, totaling pitfalls were installed, from the second to the ninth net, 243 individuals from 15 species of ground and foliage located at a distance of 3–5 m perpendicular to the center foraging insectivores. Foliage insectivores accounted for of each one. The traps remained open simultaneously the vast majority of these species (12 species), with only with the bird samplings, and capped after the end of three species of ground foragers: Conopophaga lineata, these activities to avoid catching nocturnal arthropods. Corythopis delalandi and Pyriglena leucoptera (Table 1). The right and left sides of the net lines were sampled The highest number of captures (including recaptures) alternately every sampling day. At the end of sampling, and individuals was also among the foliage insectivores, the contents present in the pots were transferred to filter corresponding to more than 60% of the total. The paper and, after drying, analyzed under a 10× – 40× number of captures ranged from one (three species) to stereo microscope. 105 (Platyrhinchus mystaceus), and the most common species were P. mystaceus (26.3% of individuals captured), Data analysis Basileuterus culicivorus (14.4%), C. lineata (14.4%), P. leucoptera (14.4%), Anabazenops fuscus (7.4%) and The seasonal variability of the captures (including Corythopis delalandi (6.2%). The species with highest recaptures), the number of individuals and the number proportion of recaptures was P. mystaceus (n = 41; 39%) of species classified as foliage and ground foraging and the least was B. culicivorus (n = 9, 20.5%) (Table 1). insectivores according to literature (e.g. Willis 1979, A total of 3416 arthropods were collected by both Rodrigues et al. 1994, D'Angelo-Neto et al. 1998) were method. In the pitfall traps occurred 1782 and the most measured with chi-square ( ) test. Seasonal variability abundant groups were Hymenoptera Formicidae (28.3%) in the abundance of arthropods was evaluated using a and Diptera (25.6%). Other prey categories, such as paired t-test after checking the data normality with the Coleoptera (18.7%) and Orthoptera (14.4%), were also Table 1. Understory insectivorous bird species captured in the dry and rainy seasons in an area of secondary Atlantic Forest, southeastern Brazil. FI – Foliage insectivores; GI – Ground insectivores. No. No. No. No. Total of Total of Total of captures captures individuals individuals Species Habit captures individuals recaptures rainy dry rainy dry (%) (%) (%) season season season season Thamnophilidae Thamnophilus caerulescens Vieillot, 1816 FI 3 (0.9) 2 1 3 (1.2) 2 1 - Dysithamnus mentalis (Temminck, 1823) FI 5 (1.4) 2 3 4 (1.6) 2 3 1 (20.0) Pyriglena leucoptera (Vieillot, 1818) GI 52 (15.0) 31 21 35 (14.4) 23 20 16 (30.8) Conopophagidae Conopophaga lineata (Wied, 1831) GI 52 (15.0) 20 32 35 (14.4) 16 27 17 (32.7) Furnariidae Anabazenops fuscus (Vieillot, 1816) FI 25 (7.2) 16 9 18 (7.4) 13 8 7(28.0) Synallaxis ruficapilla Vieillot, 1819 FI 16 (4.6) 6 10 11 (4.5) 6 9 5(31.3) Tyrannidae Corythopis delalandi (Lesson, 1830) GI 22 (6.3) 10 12 15 (6.2) 9 10 7 (31.8) Leptopogon amaurocephalus Tschudi, 1846 FI 7 (2.0) 5 2 7 (2.9) 5 2 - Hemitriccus diops (Temminck,1822) FI 1 (0.3) 1 - 1 (0.4) 1 - - Poecilotriccus plumbeiceps (Lafresnaye, 1846) FI 1 (0.3) 1 - 1 (0.4) 1 - - Tolmomyias sulphurescens (Spix, 1825) FI 11 (3.2) 6 5 10 (4.1) 6 5 - Platyrinchus mystaceus Vieillot, 1818 FI 105 (30.2) 55 50 64 (26.3) 46 36 41 (39.0) Myiophobus fasciatus (Statius Muller, 1776) FI 1 (0.3) - 1 1 (0.4) - 1 - Lathrotriccus euleri (Cabanis, 1868) FI 3 (0.9) 2 1 3 (1.2) 2 1 - Parulidae Basileuterus culicivorus (Deppe, 1830) FI 44 (12.6) 24 20 35 (14.4) 21 20 9 (20.5) TOTAL 348 (100) 181 167 243 (100) 153 143 103 (29.6) Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(1): 2017 Seasonal variation of understory insectivorous birds and arthropods in an area of secondary Atlantic Forest, southeast Brazil Lima & Manhães well represented, while the remaining 14 arthropod groups each group underwent minor variations between seasons together accounted for less than 15% of the total (Table (Table 2). 2). Variations in the proportion of arthropod groups There was no seasonal variation in bir d richness, the captured in different seasons were observed (Ta ble 2). On total number of captures and the number of individuals the other hand, 1634 foliage arthropods, corresponding captured in any of the categories of insectivores (all tests to 22 categories of at least 16 orders were collected using a with P > 0.1) (Fig. 3). The abundance of soil arthropods branch-clipping method. Spiders were the most abundant was higher during the rainy season (t = -2.89; df = 63; arthropods (35.2%), followed by Isopoda (15.9%), P < 0.01) (Fig. 4), while a greater abundance of foliage Coleoptera (15.1%), Hemiptera Heteroptera (5.8%) and arthropods was found in the dry season (t = -6.84; df = Hymenoptera Formicidae (5.4%). The proportions of 63; P < 0.01) (Fig. 4). Table 2. Arthropods collected by “branch-clipping” (foliage) and “pitfall” (ground) methods in rainy and dry seasons. * Number of individuals per 100 g of vegetation. Foliage Ground Category RainyDry Total RainyDry TOTAL Frequency n*(%) Frequency n*(%) Frequency(%) n*(%) n(%) n(%) n(%) Mollusca (non-arthropod) 1 0.5(0.2) - - 1(0.1) 0.5(0.1) 1(0.1) - 1(0.1) Orthoptera 25 14.5(4.0) 22 14.3(2.1) 47(2.9) 28.8(2.7) 131(12.4) 126(17.5) 257(14.4) Phasmatodea 1 0.6(0.2) - - 1(0.1) 0.6(0.1) - - - Dermaptera 6 3.3(0.9) 1 0.7(0.1) 7(0.4) 4.0(0.4) - - - Mantodea 1 0.6(0.2) - - 1(0.1) 0.6(0.1) - - - Blattodea 4 2.2(0.6) 11 7.3(1.1) 15(0.9) 9.5(0.9) 1(0.1) 3(0.4) 4(0.2) Isoptera - - - - - - - 2(0.3) 2(0.1) Hemiptera Heteroptera 19 11.9(3.3) 83 49.9(61.8) 102(6.2) 61.8(5.9) 15(1.4) 3(0.4) 18(1.0) Hemíptera non-Heteroptera 40 24.5(6.7) 27 16.3(2.4) 67(4.1) 40.8(3.9) 18(1.7) 6(0.8) 24(1.4) Coleoptera 84 50.1(13.8) 164 108.8(15.9) 248(15.2) 158.9(15.1) 293(27.6) 40(5.6) 333(18.7) Diptera 9 5.4(1.5) 25 17.1(2.5) 34(2.1) 22.6(2.2) 154(14.5) 303(42.0) 457(25.7) Lepidoptera 1 0.6(0.2) 9 6.1(0.9) 10(0.6) 6.7(0.6) 2(0.2) - 2(0.1) Hymenoptera non- 15 9.1(2.5) 41 29.9(4.4) 56(3.4) 39(3.7) 25(2.4) 8(1.1) 33(1.9) Formicidae Hymenoptera Formicidae 45 27.3(7.5) 43 30.2(4.4) 88(5.4) 57.5(5.5) 352(33.2) 153(21.2) 505(28.3) Isopoda 74 42.7(11.8) 183 124.6(18.2) 257(15.7) 167.3(15.9) 30(2.8) 15(2.1) 45(2.5) Pseudoscorpiones 15 9.3(2.6) 3 2.5(0.4) 18(1.1) 11.8(1.1) 1(0.1) 13(1.8) 14(0.8) Opilliones 17 9.9(2.7) - - 17(1.0) 9.9(0.9) 1(0.1) - 1(0.1) Acari 4 2.5(0.7) - - 4(0.2) 2.5(0.2) 1(0.1) - 1(0.1) Araneae 219 129.6(35.7) 360 240.0(35.0) 579(35.4) 369.6(35.2) 24(2.3) 19(2.6) 43(2.4) Diplopoda - - - - - - 1(0.1) - 1(0.1) Larvae 12 7.1(2.0) 31 20.3(3.0) 33(2.0) 27.4(2.6) 9(0.9) 9(1.3) 18(1.0) Nymph 2 0.9(0.3) 10 6.8(1.0) 12(0.7) 7.7(0.7) 1(0.1) 19(2.6) 20(1.1) Pupae 3 1.7(0.5) 8 4.8(0.7) 11(0.7) 6.5(0.6) - - - Not identified 16 9.0(2.5) 10 6.7(1.0) 26(1.6) 15.7(1.5) 1(0.1) 2(0.3) 3(0.2) TOTAL 613 363.1(100) 1031 686.4(100) 1634(100) 1049.7(100) 1061(100) 721(100) 1782(100) RAINY RAINY DRY DRY Captures FI Captures GI Individuals Individuals Species FI Species GI FI GI Pitfall Branch-clipping FI - Foliage foraging insectivores; GI - Ground foraging insectivores Figure 4. Mean ± standard deviation of arthropods individuals by Figure 3. Seasonal variation in the number of captures, individuals sample captured by “pitfall” (ground) and “branch-clipping” (foliage) and species of insectivorous birds in a secondary Atlantic Forest area, methods, in dry and rainy season in the Atlantic Forest area, state of southeastern Brazil. Minas Gerais, Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(1): 2017 Total number Number of arthropods per sample Seasonal variation of understory insectivorous birds and arthropods in an area of secondary Atlantic Forest, southeast Brazil Lima & Manhães DISCUSSION although the number of foliage arthropods was higher in the dry season. Only a small difference in the bird species composition by season was observed, probably Some studies have shown seasonal variations in the abundance of food resources, and although these due to the capture of species with low representability, variations are more pronounced in temperate regions such as Poecilotriccus plumbeiceps, Hemithriccus diops and where winters are marked by severe food scarcity, they Myiophobus fasciatus, captured only once throughout the sampling periods. Codesido & Bilenca (2004) found also occur in tropical areas (Karr 1976, Newton 1980, similar results in a study on the seasonality of birds in Loiselle & Blake 1990). The abundance of arthropods in the tropics is related to the regime of dry and rainy the Chaco subtropical semiarid forest of Argentina, and seasons, with its higher density generally associated with did not find seasonal variations in the abundance of rainy periods (Develey & Peres 2000). ground and foliage insectivores. In addition, this study revealed that seasonal variations experienced by some In the studied area, the higher abundance of groups of insectivores occurred in migratory species, soil arthropods was found in the rainy season, with a substantial decline during the dry season. The study area arriving in the tropical forests during summer, possibly has its own characteristics of a semideciduous forest, attracted by a greater availability of arthropods. Lefebvre marked by a relatively severe dry season, usually from April & Poulin (1996) observed relationship for some migrant species in mangrove forests of Panama. In the case of to September (Morellato & Haddad 2000, Oliveira-Filho the current study area, we detected no migratory birds, & Fontes 2000), when the reduced availability of water can lead to a reduced number of arthropods, which could with the insectivorous assemblage composed essentially have difficulties in obtaining their water requirements by resident species, which may also have contributed (Janzen & Schoener 1968). In addition, the reproductive to the absence of seasonal variations in the abundance of such birds, in addition to the composition of species. activities of arthropods associated with rainy periods Cueto & Casenave (2002), in Argentina, attributed the increase their populations during this season (Orians 1980). lack of seasonality of coastal woodland insectivorous bird However, these patterns were not observed for the densities to a discrete temporal climate change, probably foliage arthropods, whose abundance was high in the insufficient to generate an overall food scarcity. Thus, changes in the availability of food resources possibly dry season. Although the density of arthropods can be cannot be the only factor responsible for variations that associated with a peak in vegetation productivity (Orians 1980) that is characteristic of the rainy season in the tropics, are occasionally found in the abundance of insectivorous seasonal variations in the abundance of arthropods seem species. Newton (1980) stated that food alone should to be less pronounced in those regions than in temperate not be considered a limiting factor for birds, because it is usually associated with several other factors, such as regions (Newton 1980). Another relevant factor is the reproduction, territoriality and competition. frequent and intense rains, typical of tropical summers, which may hinder the permanence of arthropods on Another important factor to consider is the great the foliage, making them less accessible to insectivorous plasticity of birds, which can be observed even in short birds foraging on the substrate, as previously suggested periods of time (Tebbich et al. 2004), allowing them to exploit other microhabitats to obtain food within a (Manhães 2007). While it still seems difficult to explain fragment. According to Newton (1980), the insectivorous an increase in the number of arthropods during the dry season, Murakami (2002) suggests that the understory of birds consume only a small part of resources available in semideciduous forests may harbor, during the dry season, the environment and can therefore find food in the periods arthropods that live in the canopy, as some plant species in which there is some reduction of these resources. According to Murakami (2002), birds may differ in lose leaves in this period and arthropods need to search response to seasonal variations in prey distribution, using for food resources elsewhere. Although the highest consumption of arthropods by different tactics and/or foraging substrates, and often insectivorous birds is associated with the breeding season change to new prey types to compensate for the reduced of these birds (Develey & Peres 2000), which in the tropics availability of feeding resources. Despite having been carried out in a single forest occurs during the rainy season, along with the increased patch, our results support those found in previous availability of arthropods (Orians 1980), the results indicated no relationship between the seasonal variations studies (Codesido & Bilenca 2004, Manhães 2007), of the arthropods and the abundance of insectivorous whose variations in arthropod abundance in response birds. Although the rainy season has showed the greatest to seasonality are not accompanied by a variation in the abundance of insectivorous birds in tropical forests. The abundance of soil arthropods, ground foraging bird presence of the most common bird species throughout species remained the same in both seasons. Likewise, the foliage insectivores showed no seasonal variation, the year suggests the absence of extensive migration of Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(1): 2017 Seasonal variation of understory insectivorous birds and arthropods in an area of secondary Atlantic Forest, southeast Brazil Lima & Manhães Granzinolli M.A.M. & Motta-Jr. J.C. 2006. Small mammal selection insectivorous birds to the studied area, common in other by the White-tailed Hawk in southeastern Brazil. Wilson Journal locations (Lefebvre & Poulin 1996, Poulin & Lefebvre of Ornithology 118: 91–98. 1996), possibly explaining, to a large extent, the different Haugaasen T., Barlow J. & Peres C.A. 2003. Effects of surface fires patterns of responses from insectivorous birds in relation on understorey insectivorous birds and terrestrial arthropods in to the availability of their prey, according to the location central Brazilian Amazonia. Animal Conservation 6: 299–306. Horne B.V. & Bader A. 1990. Diet of nestling winter Wrens in studied. relationship to food availability. Condor 92: 413–420. Janzen D.H. & Schoener T.W. 1968. Differences in insect a bundance and diversity between wetter and drier sites during a tropical dry ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS season. Ecology 49: 96–110. Karr J.R. 1976. Seasonality, resource availability, and community diversity in tropical bird communities. American Naturalist 110: We thank the former owner of the Fazenda Continente, 973–994. Mr. José Mauricio Aguiar, for allowing the research to be Karr J.R., Schemske D.W. & Brokaw P.V.L. 1982. Temporal variation conducted in the area. We also thank CEMAVE/ICMBio in the understorey bird community of a tropical forest, p. 441– 453. In: Leigh E.G. (ed.). Seasonal rhythms in a tropical forest. for the licenses and providing bird bands. Finally, we Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press. thank CAPES for granting a MSc. scholarship to the first Lefebvre G. & Poulin B. 1996. 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Ornithology Research – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2017
Keywords: arthropod abundance; foraging birds; seasonality; semideciduous forest; trophic ecology
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