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Influence of landscape structure on birds communities in public spaces of Rio Claro, SP

Grant number: 07/03981-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2008
Effective date (End): December 31, 2008
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal researcher:Silvio Frosini de Barros Ferraz
Grantee:Angel Leal
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Many studies related to the bird’s ecology have focused on natural ecosystems, while urban ones have been ignored. However, due to urbanization and changes in habitats, the importance of understanding the relationship of biodiversity to the environment has become plausible. The urban growth is typically associated with fragmentation, isolation and loss of habitat, changes in the composition of communities and hydrological and nutrient cycles. These aspects have become very important in the characterization of ecological degradation along history through the creation of mosaics. This gradual growth underscores the need to understand the dynamics and processes of the urban ecosystem. Public spaces offer a lot of potential habitat for birds, providing opportunities in the study of the relationship between wildlife and the changes caused by humans, such as degradation of vegetation, reduction of area, buildings, and others. Birds play a key role in understanding the mechanisms that regulate the effects of urbanization, as this group finds itself taxonomically very similar in different urban areas. Therefore, this project aims to assess the gap of information about the importance of preserving biodiversity in urban ecosystems. Through seasonal sampling, we will assess how the wealth of birds and the functional groups (guilds) are affected by variables of the physical environment (forest cover area, sub-wood density) and structural landscape (size of the squares and distance to the regional matrix). By this project, we intend to test Island Biogeography theory in urban landscapes, and the results may provide relevant information for birds management in urban environments.

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