Taxon: Understorey birds.
Methods: To investigate diversity patterns, we compiled studies that mist-netted birds at 11 regions across seven Amazonian areas of endemism. We used coverage-based rarefaction curves, non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) and created a heatmap based on the proportion of captures in each area of endemism to access patterns of richness, composition and captures of understorey birds, respectively. The relative variance (RVgp index) was calculated to investigate the existence of guild proportionality within each area of endemism.
Results: Bird assemblages diverged across the seven areas of endemism, in terms of species richness, composition and captures. However, the proportion of species and individuals within guilds was similar among areas of endemism, indicating that species replacements across areas of endemism occur while maintaining the same ecological functions. Guild proportionality suggests that interspecific competition and resource availability are more important than environmental heterogeneity in structuring understorey bird assemblages.
Main conclusions: The similar proportion of species within guilds suggest that interspecific competition and resource availability are more important than environmental heterogeneity in structuring local assemblages, possibly via a process of limiting similarity in morphological and functional traits. The observed congruent structure in understorey bird assemblages across areas of endemism shows that coupled historical and ecological processes, operating at local to large scales, have led to current patterns of diversity and composition in Amazonian bird communities.