Effects of Landscape Configuration on the Body Condition of Migratory and Resident Tropical Birds

Dimas A. Molina-Marin, Juan C. Rodas-Rua, Carlos E. Lara, Fredy A. Rivera-Páez, Francisco E. Fontúrbel, Gabriel J. Castaño-Villa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Landscape structure and configuration may affect bird body condition, with contrasting effects on resident and migratory species. There is little empirical evidence to support this hypothesis in tropical regions, where land-use change poses a major threat to biodiversity. We aimed to assess the effects of landscape structure and configuration on the body condition of neotropical migrant and resident bird species. We compiled body condition data (using the scaled mass index) of nine bird species (five resident and four migratory). We characterized landscape structure and configuration at 26 localities. We evaluated the effects of landscape metrics on bird body condition using Bayesian linear mixed models. The landscapes in our study largely varied in forest, crop, and grassland cover, as well as in landscape metrics. When we examined migrant birds, we found a positive effect of landscape connectivity and crop cover on body condition. Similarly, body condition of resident birds was positively affected by connectivity and crop cover, but also by forest patch area and capture day. Changes in landscape structure and configuration may indirectly alter the access to resources, causing additional energy expenditures, leading to a deteriorated body condition. Conversely, landscape heterogeneity may have a positive effect on bird body condition. Therefore, we recommend maintaining connectivity and complementary resources in the landscape.

Original languageEnglish
Article number432
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • agroforestry
  • connectivity
  • crop patches
  • landscape metrics
  • neotropical migrants
  • scaled mass index


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