Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Los efectos de la reforestación activa vs. natural en la diversidad de las aves



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Publication Date

May 2009


With rapid deforestation rates and loss of diversity the ability to reforest degraded landscapes faster than they would naturally regrow could be an effective tool for conservation. Many different methods of active reforestation have been proposed (Holl et al. 2000, Lamb et al. 2005, Martinez and Howe 2003) but because it is impossible to plant every species of plant that would be found in an area much of the diversity after planting must come from vertebrate dispersers of which most are birds (Fang and Peng 1997, Holl et al. 2000, Lamb et al. 2005, Martinez and Howe 2003). I wanted to know if active reforestation with trees whose fruits are normally bird dispersed affected the diversity of birds in that area. I observed birds in two areas of the Calandria reserve in Los Llanos, Costa Rica that have been reforesting for approximately nine years. One area was a naturally reforesting coffee plantation and the other a fallow pasture that has been planted with over a thousand trees. Using a Shannon-Weiner index and a modified t-test, I found that bird diversity was much higher in the pasture area than the coffee area. (H’Pasture= 3.419, H’Coffee= 1.192, p< 0.001; EPasture= 0.927, ECoffee= 0.370) Though there was high overlap of species between areas there were only seven species seen only in the coffee area while 22 were seen only in the pasture area. My results show that actively planting trees results in higher bird diversity than natural reforestation. Because the diets of many of these birds includes fruit and so they disperse seeds, it is also likely they will act as agents to increase reforestation even further.


Con las rápidas tasas de la deforestación y pérdida de la diversidad, la posibilidad de reforestar zonas degradadas más rápido de lo que naturalmente volverían a crecer puede ser una herramienta eficaz para la conservación. Se han propuesto muchos diferentes métodos de reforestación activa (Holl et al. 2000, Cordero et al. 2005, Martínez y Howe 2003), pero porque es imposible sembrar cada especie de planta que se encuentra en una zona, gran parte de la diversidad de la siembra debe provenir de los vertebrados dispersores de los cuales la mayoría son aves (Fang y Peng 1997, Holl et al. 2000, Cordero et al. 2005, Martínez y Howe, 2003). Quería saber si la reforestación activa con árboles cuyas frutas son normalmente dispersadas por aves afectaba la diversidad de aves en la zona.


Forest regeneration, Reforestation, Birds--Behavior, CIEE Spring 2009

Palabras claves

Regeneración del bosque, Reforestación, Aves--Comportamiento, CIEE Primavera 2009


9 pages

Geographic Location

Los Llanos (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





The effects of active vs. natural reforestation on bird diversity, May 2009



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