Core and transient species in an Amazonian savanna bird assemblage

Roberta Lúcia Boss, José Maria Cardoso Da Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this paper, we report the number of core and transient bird species in an Amazonian savanna site and assess their ecological differences. We conducted our study at Campo Experimental do Cerrado (CEC) da Embrapa-Amapá, 48 km north of Macapá (0˚2'5" N/51˚2'2" W), Amapá, Brazil. Forty points were monitored on a monthly basis over the course of one year, using the unlimited-distance point counts in a plot of 360 hectares of well-preserved and relatively homogeneous upland savanna from September 2006 to August 2007. Species were classified in core (recorded in the area in nine or more months), transient (recorded in the area in four or less months) and intermediate (the ones recorded between five and eight months). Species were also classified according to feeding guilds and habitat preferences. Statistical analyses were made to compare core and transient species. We recorded 72 species in the plot, of which 36 were transients, 12 were intermediates, and 22 were core. Core species have higher abundances than transient species. Core species are found mostly in the savanna while transient species also occur in other habitats within the landscape. Both core and transient groups presented well-marked seasonal variation in abundance. Recruitment explains abundance variation for core species, while differences in the availability of food resources in the site explains variation of the abundance in transient species. We predict that plot-level (not more than 500 hectares) bird assemblages in South American savannas will be composed of a small number of abundant and habitat-restricted species that occupy the site almost year round, combined with a high number of low abundant transient species that are habitat generalists and use the plot only during limited periods of their annual life cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-382
Number of pages9
JournalRevista Brasileira de Ornitologia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Conservation biogeography
  • Landscape dynamics
  • Local assemblages
  • South America
  • Tropical savannas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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