Avian response to shade-layer restoration in coffee plantations in Puerto Rico

Amarilys D. Irizarry, Jaime A. Collazo, Krishna Pacifici, Brian J. Reich, Kathryn E. Battle
2018 Restoration Ecology  
Modernized coffee production schemes that involve the removal of shade trees as a means to increase yields are a major cause of habitat degradation in agricultural landscapes in the tropics. In Puerto Rico, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS-USDA) have worked together since 2003 to restore the shade-layer in coffee plantations through a "land sharing" ecological restoration strategy. Conversion of sun to shade coffee plantations has been
more » ... fectively employed by the said agencies to enhance habitat features and recover ecological services associated to the shadelayer. Documenting the dynamic nature of restoration processes, and in particular, how long it takes to detect specific ecological signals, are crucial to evaluate restoration success and identify ways to improve management practices. This work was designed to quantify, for the first time, the impact (positive or negative) of shade restoration on the resident avian community, and determine the time at which potential impacts are detected relative to the time since the implementation of the restoration action. We estimated avian occupancy probability and abundance as a function of time since restoration in 65 restored farms, which we classified into 3 equally-spaced categories according to year of implementation: New (2011 -2014), Intermediate (2007), and Old (2003. As expected, vegetation structure became more complex over time. Most forest-dependent species (e.g., Loxigilla portoricencis) exhibited higher occupancy and abundance 6-10 years post-restoration. Occupancy and abundance of open-habitat species (e.g., Tiaris olivaceus) were more variable, but most prevalent in recently restored farms. Moreover, we employed radiotelemetry and dynamic occupancy models to gain a greater understanding of how habitat
doi:10.1111/rec.12697 fatcat:x5l4jwhe65avjjqssyzipl6r3a