In a recent survey, researchers at Oregon State University in the College of Forestry have found that old and complex tropical forests support a much wider diversity of birds than secondary forests. Tropical forests hold an irreplaceable value for conservation. The team was led by Urs Kormann and the research involved surveying 49 forest fragments near to the Las Cruces Biological Station in Costa Rica. The results were published this week in the Journal of Applied Ecology.
The researchers found equal number of species of birds in the secondary strands as compared to stands that composed completely or in part of the old tropical forest. However, the difference was laid in the diversity of species, where bird community of secondary stands had shifted towards non-forest species and old forests included more rare birds which were benefitting the biodiversity of the entire landscape. Therefore, any conservation efforts should also consider maintenance of tropical old-growth forest tracts and ensure that the human activities in forests are not driving away species that are completely dependent on such areas. Restoring forests might also be likely to be more effective for birds in case the efforts that are done near the vicinity of the primary forest. Secondary forests should not be relied upon completely as they can create a lot of misleading expectations, according to researchers. Landscapes that are a little alteration to the old forests are still good for some conservation goals but not all.
By: Neha Maheshwari