Introduction: Conserving terrestrial ecosystems in good condition is a global challenge. In Mexico, forest rehabilitation is a widely used practice to achieve this task.
Objective: To analyze the effect of forest rehabilitation on avifauna parameters (richness, abundance and diversity) and vegetation structure.
Materials and methods: The study was conducted in El Porvenir, Hidalgo, Mexico, in areas under forest rehabilitation with Pinus greggii Engelm. ex Parl. aged 5(R5), 12(R12) and 14(R14) years, and in a Pinus cembroides Zucc. forest as a reference site (RS). Sampling was done using a systematic grid design. Avifauna presence was monitored under two schemes: fixed-radius point counts and capture by constant-effort mist-netting. The tree structure was characterized by the point-centered quarter method. Differences between conditions were tested with a permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA).
Results and discussion: The RS had the highest bird richness (34) and showed significant differences (P = 0.0003) with rehabilitation conditions. The distribution of abundance in R5 and R14 was fitted to a geometric model, R12 to a logarithmic model and RS to a log-normal one, exhibiting significant differences among them (P = 0.033). Bird diversity presented differences between conditions (P = 0.005); the maximum similarity was between R14 and RS. The older the forest rehabilitation age, the more the vegetation structure and bird parameters increased.
Conclusion: The areas under forest rehabilitation function as reservoirs for the maintenance and conservation of avifauna in disturbed environments.