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Are abandoned eucalyptus plantations avifauna-friendly? A case study in the Valdivian rainforest

Fontúrbel, Francisco E., Candia, Alina B., Castaño-Villa, Gabriel J.
Revista mexicana de biodiversidad 2016 v.87 no.4 pp. 1402-1406
Campephilus, Eucalyptus, Zonotrichia, avifauna, birds, case studies, forest stands, habitats, indigenous species, plantations, rain forests, trees, understory
Forestry plantations, and particularly those based on Eucalyptus, are known to have negative effects on native avifauna. However, abandoned plantations might provide habitat for some native birds due to the presence of a native understory. Bird diversity between native forest stands and abandoned Eucalyptus plantations with native understory, at the South American temperate rainforest, was compared. Bird richness and composition did not differ between the native vegetation and the abandoned types. We identified 21 species of birds, being 19 of those (90%) shared between vegetation types. Most frequent species were Scelorchilus rubecula, Sephanoides sephaniodes and Elaenia albiceps, whereas Campephilus magellanicus and Zonotrichia capensis occurred only in the native vegetation. The plantation bird assemblage was a subset from the species pool of the native vegetation, with occurrence more variable than species identity between vegetation types. The presence of native understory vegetation at the plantation may explain the presence of some dispersal-restricted species such as rhynocryptids. Nevertheless, abandoned Eucalyptus plantations do not replace native forests as there are no species exclusive to this vegetation type and some species seem to be unable to use Eucalyptus trees.