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The structure and organization of an Amazonian bird community remains little changed after nearly four decades
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  • Ari Martinez,
  • Jose Ponciano,
  • Juan Gomez,
  • Thomas Valqui,
  • Jorge Novoa,
  • Ettore Camerlenghi,
  • Blaine Carnes,
  • Eliseo Parra,
  • John Fitzpatrick,
  • Scott K. Robinson,
  • Jacob Socolar,
  • John Terborgh
Ari Martinez
California State University Long Beach
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Jose Ponciano
University of Florida
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Juan Gomez
Universidad del Norte
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Thomas Valqui
Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina Facultad de Ciencias Forestales
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Jorge Novoa
CORBIDI
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Ettore Camerlenghi
Monash University
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Blaine Carnes
California State University System
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Eliseo Parra
San Francisco State University
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John Fitzpatrick
Cornell University
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Scott K. Robinson
University of Florida
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Jacob Socolar
University of Connecticut Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
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John Terborgh
University of Florida
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Abstract

Documenting patterns of spatio-temporal change in hyper-diverse communities remains a challenge for tropical ecology, yet is increasingly urgent as some long-term studies have shown major declines in bird communities even in relatively undisturbed sites. In 1982, Terborgh et al. quantified the structure and organization of the bird community in a 97-ha. plot in southeastern Peru. We revisited the same plot in 2018 and repeated the same intense combination of methodologies as the original study in order to evaluate community-wide changes. Contrary to the results from studies elsewhere, we found little change in bird distribution and abundance within the plot, although there were some declines related to loss of mixed-species flocks with a high level of species interdependence. This apparent stability suggests that large-scale forest reserves such as Manu National Park may provide the conditions necessary for establishing refugia from at least some of the effects of global change on birds.