Effects of habitat fragmentation and degradation on flocks of African ant-following birds

Peters MK, Likare S, Kraemer M (2008)
ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS 18(4): 847-858.

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Abstract
Tropical rain forests are rapidly cleared, fragmented, and degraded in sub-Saharan Africa; however, little is known about the response of species and even of key ecological groups to these processes. One of the most intriguing (but often neglected) ecological phenomena in African rain forests is the interaction between swarm-raiding army ants and ant-following birds. Similar to their well-known Neotropical representatives, ant-following birds in Africa track the massive swarm raids of army ants and feed on arthropods flushed by the ants. In this study we analyzed the effect of habitat fragmentation and degradation of a mid-altitude Congo-Guinean rain forest in western Kenya on the structure of ant-following bird flocks. Significant numbers of swarm raids were located in all forest fragments and in both undegraded and degraded forest. Fifty-six different species of birds followed army ant raids, forming bird flocks of one to 15 species. We quantitatively differentiated the bird community into five species of specialized ant-followers and 51 species of opportunistic ant-followers. Species richness and size of bird blocks decreased with decreasing size of forest fragments and was higher in undegraded than in degraded habitat. This was caused by the decrease of the species richness and number of specialized ant-followers at swarms, while the group of opportunistic ant-followers was affected little by habitat fragmentation and degradation. The composition of bird flocks was more variable in small fragments and degraded forest, compared to undegraded habitat in large fragments. The effect of habitat fragmentation on flock structure was best explained by the strong decline of the abundance of specialized ant-followers in small forest fragments. To conserve the association of army ants and ant-following birds in its natural state, vast areas of unfragmented and undegraded tropical rain forest are necessary.
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Peters MK, Likare S, Kraemer M. Effects of habitat fragmentation and degradation on flocks of African ant-following birds. ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS. 2008;18(4):847-858.
Peters, M. K., Likare, S., & Kraemer, M. (2008). Effects of habitat fragmentation and degradation on flocks of African ant-following birds. ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS, 18(4), 847-858.
Peters, M. K., Likare, S., and Kraemer, M. (2008). Effects of habitat fragmentation and degradation on flocks of African ant-following birds. ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS 18, 847-858.
Peters, M.K., Likare, S., & Kraemer, M., 2008. Effects of habitat fragmentation and degradation on flocks of African ant-following birds. ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS, 18(4), p 847-858.
M.K. Peters, S. Likare, and M. Kraemer, “Effects of habitat fragmentation and degradation on flocks of African ant-following birds”, ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS, vol. 18, 2008, pp. 847-858.
Peters, M.K., Likare, S., Kraemer, M.: Effects of habitat fragmentation and degradation on flocks of African ant-following birds. ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS. 18, 847-858 (2008).
Peters, Marcell K., Likare, Smith, and Kraemer, Manfred. “Effects of habitat fragmentation and degradation on flocks of African ant-following birds”. ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS 18.4 (2008): 847-858.
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7 Citations in Europe PMC

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Effect of scale on trait predictors of species responses to agriculture.
Gilroy JJ, Medina Uribe CA, Haugaasen T, Edwards DP., Conserv. Biol. 29(2), 2015
PMID: 25395246
Spatial Variation in Army Ant Swarm Raiding and its Potential Effect on Biodiversity
Peters MK, Fischer G, Hita Garcia F, Lung T, Wagele JW., 2013
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Effects of forest disturbance and habitat loss on avian communities in a Neotropical biodiversity hotspot
Duraes R, Carrasco L, Smith TB, Karubian J., Biol. Conserv. 166(), 2013
PMID: IND500696705
Forest fragmentation and selective logging have inconsistent effects on multiple animal-mediated ecosystem processes in a tropical forest.
Schleuning M, Farwig N, Peters MK, Bergsdorf T, Bleher B, Brandl R, Dalitz H, Fischer G, Freund W, Gikungu MW, Hagen M, Garcia FH, Kagezi GH, Kaib M, Kraemer M, Lung T, Naumann CM, Schaab G, Templin M, Uster D, Wagele JW, Bohning-Gaese K., PLoS ONE 6(11), 2011
PMID: 22114695
Species compensation maintains abundance and raid rates of African swarm-raiding army ants in rainforest fragments
Peters MarcellK, Fischer Georg, Schaab Gertrud, Kraemer Manfred., Biol. Conserv. 142(3), 2009
PMID: IND44158954

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