Lianas abundance is positively related with the avian acoustic community in tropical dry forests.
Hilje, B., Stack, S., & Sánchez-Azofeifa, A.
Dry forests are important sources of biodiversity where lianas are highly abundant given their ability to grow during times of drought and as a result of secondary growth processes. Lianas provide food and shelter for fauna such as birds, but there are no studies assessing the influence of liana abundance on birds in dry forests. Here we evaluate the influence of liana abundance on the avian acoustic community in the dry forests of Costa Rica at Santa Rosa National Park. We selected forest sites with different levels of liana abundance and set up automated sound recorders for data collection, analysis and estimation of the avian acoustic community. When the number of lianas increases, the avian acoustic community becomes more complex. Lianas could provide important direct and indirect resources for birds such as structure for shelter, protection, nesting and roosting, and food. The positive relationship that lianas have with birds is particularly important in dry forests where lianas are becoming highly abundant due to the level of forest disturbance and climate change, especially for some bird species that are restricted to this ecosystem. By validating the number of bird species detected in the recordings with the acoustic complexity index, we found that a higher acoustic complexity means higher species richness.