Hummingbird diversity in a fragmented tropical landscape in the Chocó biogeographic zone

Kyu Min Huh, Mike Ellis, Fernando Castillo, Luis Carrasco, Juan Rivero de Aguilar, Elisa Bonaccorso, Luke Browne, Jordan Karubian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Forest loss and fragmentation drive widespread declines in biodiversity. However, hummingbirds seem to exhibit relative resilience to disturbance, characterized by increasing abundance alongside declining species richness and evenness. Yet, how widespread this pattern may be, and the mechanisms by which it may occur, remain unclear. To fill in this knowledge gap, we investigated habitat- and site-level patterns of diversity, and community composition of hummingbirds between continuous forest (transects n = 16 in ~3500 ha) and more disturbed surrounding fragments (n = 39, 2.5–48.0 ha) in the Chocó rain forest of northwestern Ecuador. Next, we assessed within-patch and patch-matrix characteristics associated with hummingbird diversity and composition. We found higher hummingbird species richness in forest fragments relative to the continuous forest, driven by increased captures of rare species in fragments. Community composition also differed between continuous forest and fragments, with depressed evenness in fragments. Increased canopy openness and density of medium-sized trees correlated with hummingbird diversity in forest fragments, although this relationship became nonsignificant after applying false discovery rate (p <.01). Higher species richness in fragments and higher evenness in the continuous forest highlight the complex trade-offs involved in the conservation of this ecologically important group of birds in changing Neotropical landscapes. Abstract in Spanish is available with online material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-429
Number of pages12
JournalBiotropica
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 30 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Ecuador
  • Hill numbers
  • Reserva Ecológica Mache-Chindul
  • composition
  • countryside biogeography
  • evenness
  • fragmentation

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