ABSTRACT. A test of the edge effect on predation of natural and artificial bird nests in the Cerrado. The Cerrado is still one of the most important ecosystems in Brazil, even though more than 50% of its area has been altered or converted to pastureland and plantations. Despite its intense degradation, few ecological processes that might affect its biodiversity have been evaluated. The goal of this study was to test the edge effect on the predation rates at natural and artificial nests, at the Ecological Station of Águas Emendadas, Federal District, Brazil. Natural nests were found and monitored every three to four days from September to December of 2004 in the interior and at the edge of the reserve.Artificial nests were placed at four distances from the edge (0, 500, 1000 and 2000 m) in three spatial replicates in September and again in December of 2004. Each nest received one Japanese Quail and one plasticine egg and was monitored every five days, for 15 days. There was no difference between the rates of predation either in the natural nests or in the artificial nests between treatments. For one bird species, Elaenia chiriquensis (Lawrence, 1865), Tyrannidae, daily survival rates in the incubation and in the hatchling period had opposite values between the edge and the interior.Marks on plasticine eggs suggest that birds are the main predators. Estimates of the abundance of two potential nest predators, Cyanocorax cristatellus (Temminck, 1823), Corvidae and Canis familiaris (Linnaeus, 1758), Canidae, revealed no relationship with distance to the edge, nor with predation rates. Brood parasitism of natural nests was similar between the interior (0%) and the edge (3.8% of the nests). The results described here do not support the edge effect hypothesis for nest predation rates on either natural or artificial nests, nor for brood parasitism rates.
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