The composition of plant species in fragmented landscapes may be influenced by the pattern of visitation by birds to fruiting trees and by the movement of seeds among and within fragments. We compared bird visitation patterns to two tree species (Dendropanax arboreus, Araliaceae; Bursera simaruba, Burseraceae) in continuous forest and remnants of riparian vegetation in a region dominated by pasture in Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico. We quantified frequency of visitation, fruit consumption, consistency of visitation (percentage of total tree observation periods during which a given bird species was recorded), and species composition of birds at individuals of both tree species in continuous forest and riparian remnants. Bird visitation rate, species richness, and fruit consumption rates were similar within both tree species in the two habitats. Species assemblages at D. arboreus were different between continuous forest and remnants. Species assemblages at B. simaruba did not differ by habitat. Our results demonstrate that habitat disturbance may influence avian visitation patterns, which may in turn affect subsequent recruitment patterns in some tree species. Our results, however, were not consistent between the tree species, suggesting that it is difficult to generalize concerning the effects of forest disturbance on avian species assemblages in fruiting trees.
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Vol. 34 • No. 4