Sexual habitat segregation in migrant warblers along a shade gradient of Jamaican coffee farms

Aaron B. Spidal, Matthew D. Johnson


Shade coffee has been shown to provide wintering habitat for migratory bird species. Canopy cover has been cited as a good indicator of habitat quality on coffee farms. Many species of sexually dimorphic migrant warblers show sexual habitat segregation on their wintering grounds, often related to habitat quality. To test if degree of habitat segregation followed a gradient of habitat quality, we sampled canopy cover and avian communities at nine different sites in coffee farms ranging from full sun to highly shaded. Proportion of all species of wintering warblers that were male was positively correlated with percent canopy cover. Species-specific male proportions of American Redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla), Black-throated Blue Warblers (S. caerulescens), and Prairie Warblers (S. discolor) showed positive correlations with canopy cover, though small sample sizes limited statistical power.

Se ha demostrado que el café de sombra brinda un hábitat invernal para las especies de aves migratorias. La cobertura del dosel se ha citado como un buen indicador de la calidad del hábitat en las granjas cafetaleras. Muchas especies de paseriformes migratorios sexualmente dimórficos muestran, en las áreas de invernada, una segregación sexual en el hábitat usualmente relacionada con la calidad del mismo. Para examinar si el grado de segregación del hábitat sigue un gradiente relacionado con su calidad, muestreamos la cobertura del dosel y las comunidades de aves en nuevos sitios diferentes en granjas cafetaleras con una variación de esa cobertura desde totalmente al sol a altamente sombreada. La proporción de individuos de todas las especies de paseriformes migrantes que fueron machos estuvo correlacionada positivamente con el porcentaje de cobertura del dosel. Las proporciones especie-específica de machos de Setophaga ruticilla, S. caerulescens y S. discolor mostraron correlaciones positivas con la cobertura del dosel, a pesar de la potencia estadística limitada por los pequeños tamaños muestrales.

Il a été montré que les plantations de café d’ombre fournissent un habitat d’hivernage à certaines espèces d’oiseaux migrateurs. La couverture de la canopée a été reconnue comme un bon indicateur de la qualité de l’habitat dans les plantations de café. De nombreuses espèces de parulines migratrices ayant un dimorphisme sexuel présentent une ségrégation de l’habitat en fonction du sexe dans leurs aires d’hivernage, souvent liée à la qualité de l’habitat. Pour vérifier si ce degré de ségrégation suit le gradient de qualité de l’habitat, nous avons échantillonné la couverture de la canopée et les communautés d’oiseaux des plantations de café sur neuf sites différents allant du plein soleil à des situations très ombragées. La proportion de mâles de l’ensemble des espèces de parulines hivernantes était positivement corrélée au pourcentage de couverture de la canopée. La proportion de mâle, au sein de chaque espèce, était positivement corrélée à la couverture de la canopée pour la Paruline flamboyante (Setophaga ruticilla), la Paruline bleue (S. caerulescens) et la Paruline des prés (S. discolor), bien que la taille réduite des échantillons ait limité la portée statistique de l’analyse.


Coffee; Habitat Quality; Habitat Segregation; Migrants; Neotropics; Parulidae; Shade Coffee

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