Spatial pattern of wildlife habitat across heterogeneous landscapes in Atlantic rainforest near São Paulo, Brazil

Transitions between adjacent plant communities are important features of landscapes that might harbour greater diversity. However, forest edges created by human activities can have negative consequences for wildlife habitat. Both types of transitions dominate fragmented agricultural landscapes in tropical forests. Understanding the vegetation structure in such heterogeneous landscape could help predict animal movements across natural and anthropogenic transitions. This project compares the relationship between structural diversity and bird movement across different types of landscape transitions as part of a larger joint study on animal movement in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The objectives are to determine the relationship between structural diversity and frugivorous bird assemblages and to compare seed distribution across forest edges and landscape transitions with different structure. The outcomes include an assessment of the usefulness of structural diversity as an indicator for wildlife habitat, which will be included
in the multidisciplinary research program on animal movement in Brazil’s forests.

Faculty Supervisor:

Karen Harper


Julie Dyer



Environmental sciences



Dalhousie University



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