Ecology and Conservation of Bird Assemblages in Native and Afforested Environments in the Northern Campos Grasslands of Uruguay
Martínez Lanfranco, Juan Andrés
AdvisorVilella, Francisco J.
CommitteeMiller, Darren A.
Rush, Scott A.
Brooks, Christopher P.
Commercial forestry has expanded across the Rio de la Plata Grasslands (RPG) of South America in recent decades. I conducted a resource-use based study on bird communities during the 2013-2014 austral breeding season in northern Uruguay. I assessed relationships between habitat types and bird abundance as a function of vegetation structure. To compare avian responses to treatments, I included native environments, pine and eucalyptus plantations of different ages and thinning regimes. I detected differences in species richness and composition and species-specific responses in abundance along structural gradients sampled. Although poorer in species than native habitat types, tree plantations were extensively used by birds. Birds associated with plantations were primarily habitat generalists and forest dependent species, with low incidence of grassland specialists. Results of my study provide baseline information for stand-level management and future landscape design of timber plantations to benefit conservation of bird communities in afforested landscapes in the RPG.