Few studies have related bird species richness and abundance with vegetation structure at different successional stages in pine-oak forests of Mexico. We studied changes in the bird community across three successional stages of pine-oak forest: early, intermediate, and mature. Also, we related bird community attributes—including generalist and specialist birds—with vegetation variables. We analyzed the vegetation and estimated bird abundances in 10-min-count periods in 10 circular plots per successional stage. We recorded a total of 71 bird species: 21 were specialists and 50 were generalists. The completeness of species richness was between 79 and 88% in the sampled habitats. Diversity profiles were consistently larger in the intermediate stage, except for its species richness that was not different between this and the early stage. We found a more richness and a higher number of individuals of generalist in the early and intermediate stages. The abundance of specialists was higher in the mature forest. An ordination analysis showed that generalists were associated to different variables. This suggests that these species can adapt to different forest conditions. Some specialist birds were more abundant in sites with high dominance of trees. Our results confirm the importance of maintaining not only mature forests but also young successional stages in order to conserve the species typical of secondary pine-oak forest bird species.
Part of the book: New Perspectives in Forest Science