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Tropical forest loss drives divergent patterns in functional diversity of forest and non-forest birds

Cite this dataset

Matuoka, Maísa Assano; Benchimol, Maíra; Morante-Filho, José Carlos (2020). Tropical forest loss drives divergent patterns in functional diversity of forest and non-forest birds [Dataset]. Dryad.


Tropical forests have been facing high rates of deforestation driven by multiple anthropogenic disturbances, with severe consequences for biodiversity. However, the understanding of such effects on functional diversity is still limited in tropical regions, especially considering different ecological groups responses. Here we evaluated the functional responses of birds to forest loss at the threatened Brazilian Atlantic forest, considering the complete assemblage, and both forest-dependent and non-forest-dependent species. Birds were surveyed in 40 forest sites with a forest cover gradient, located in two regions showing different land use types. We tested different models to assess the responses of functional diversity indices to forest loss in these sites. Although functional diversity did not differ between regions, forest and non-forest birds showed divergent responses to forest loss. Deforested landscapes presented an increase in functional richness (SESFRic) and evenness for forest species and an increase of functional dispersion for non-forest birds. Additionally, forested landscapes harbour birds presenting lower body mass and wing length, and non-forest species with lower tarsus length. The maintenance of some functional metrics through forest loss resulted from a compensatory dynamic between forest and non-forest birds, indicating that only evaluating the complete assemblage may mask important idiosyncratic patterns of different ecological groups. Although non-forest species are relatively capable to maintain bird functional diversity in deforested landscapes, forest birds are facing a drastic ongoing collapse in these sites, representing an alarming signal for the maintenance of forest ecosystem function.