Landscape heterogeneity shapes bird phylogenetic responses at forest–matrix interfaces in Atlantic Forest, Brazil

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Agricultural intensification is one of the major factors driving biodiversity loss. However, most studies in human-dominated landscapes have used taxonomic diversity in their analysis, ignoring evolutionary relationships. Consequently, the relationship between landscape structure and phylogenetic diversity is not well understood. Here, we tested the hypothesis that landscape heterogeneity is positively related to bird phylogenetic indexes of diversity and structure, leading to over-dispersed phylogenies in very heterogeneous landscapes. We analyzed phylogenetic responses in interfaces between forest edges and anthropogenic matrices (forest–pasture and forest–eucalyptus) using generalized linear mixed models. We also compared these indexes between land covers to assess which one best preserves the phylogenetic history of communities. We used both traditional phylogenetic indexes and those corrected for species richness. Our results showed that phylogenetic diversity varied significantly between land cover types, but this did not occur when we removed effects associated with species richness, suggesting that all land covers preserve similar levels of evolutionary history. Additionally, our best models showed a positive relationship between landscape heterogeneity and bird phylogenetic indexes of diversity and structure, but the strength of these relationships may be land cover dependent. In summary, our work highlights the influence of landscape heterogeneity on the phylogenetic diversity and structure of bird communities, reinforcing the need for its incorporation into conservation-based studies. Abstract in Portuguese is available with online material.




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Biotropica, v. 53, n. 2, p. 409-421, 2021.

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