Resource Details

Coffee Agroforests Remain Beneficial for Neotropical Bird Community Conservation across Seasons

Literature: Journal Articles

Hernandez SM, Mattsson BJ, Peters VE, Cooper RJ, Carroll CR (2013) Coffee Agroforests Remain Beneficial for Neotropical Bird Community Conservation across Seasons. PLoS ONE 8(9): e65101. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065101

Contact Info


1 Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, United States of America

2 Daniel B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, United States of America



Species Info

Coffea sp., Croton niveus, Montanoa guatemalensis


  • This study compares bird community composition in coffee agroforestry systems with secondary forest fragments, while accounting for season bird migration and differences in bird detectibility between habitat. It was conducted in the San Luis Valley of northwest Costa Rica, a montane forest region near Monteverde that encompasses many microhabitats and life zones.
  • There were seven total study sites, four from coffee agroforestry systems with similar canopy coverage, distance between trees, and a high species richness of shade trees. The remaining three sites represented secondary forests patches with similar vegetation structural characteristics that were greater than 5ha and 50-75 years old. Sampling of bird diversity occurred in four seasons combining both wet and dry seasons (climatic factors) and breeding vs. non-breeding seasons (reproductive factors). Sampling spanned 3 years from 2005 to 2008. Both multi-scale and dynamic statistical models were used to account for variations in seasonal bird capture probability.A total of 73 bird species from 13 dietary guilds were captured over the course of the experiment. Results indicate that capture probability (using mist nets) of bird dietary guilds was similar for both the coffee agroforest and the secondary forest.
  • While it seemed that apparent species richness was actually greater in the coffee agroforest (61 species) than in the secondary forest (46 species), heterogeneity in capture probability must be accounted for, and doing so shows that omnivores and insectivores were more common in the secondary forest than in the coffee agroforest. In terms of bird communities, these results highlight that coffee agroforests play an important role in providing surrogate habitat and function as habitat corridors that can increase the overall connectivity of habitat at the landscape level.

Geographical Region

  • Southern Central America
  • Ecosystems

  • Montane Forest
  • Country

  • Costa Rica
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