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Resource Partitioning and Interspecific Competition Among Coexisting Species of Guans and Toucans in Se Brazil

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Between 1987 and 1998 fruit consumption and habitat use of six syntopic species of guans and toucans were studied in two Atlantic rainforest areas of southeastern Brazil: the Paranapiacaba forest fragment (140,000 ha) and the Parque Estadual da Ilha do Cardoso (22,500 ha). These two areas cover an altitudinal gradient of 0 to 1,095 m. Pipile jacutinga and the larger species of toucans (Ramphastos vitellinus and R. dicolorus) inhabit the upper levels of the forest (canopy and emergent trees), whereas Penelope obscura and the smaller toucanets (Baillonius bailloni and Selenidera maculirostris) mostly inhabit middle levels (subcanopy) and understorey. Diet composition (fruit) differed among guans and toucans and also among guan species. P. jacutinga and P. obscura tended to forage more on the fleshy fruits of Lauraceae and Myrtaceae trees, respectively, while toucans (especially B. bailloni) fed largely on palm fruits (Arecaceae). Potential congeneric competitors in the study areas are Ramphastos vitellinus ariel and R. dicolorus. We suggest that R. v. ariel recently colonized (end of the Quaternary period) the coastal Atlantic rainforest of Brazil, coming from the Amazonian rainforest.

Affiliations: 1: Departament de Biologia Animal (Vertebrats), Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona. Av. Diagonal 645, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain., Email:; 2: Departament de Salut Pública (Bioestadística). Facultat de Medicina. Universitat de Barcelona. Casanovas 143, E-08036, Spain


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