Density-dependent habitat selection of corridors in a fragmented landscape

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2001
Authors:Fernández-Juricic, E
Date Published:2001
ISBN Number:1474-919X
Keywords:Columba, Columba palumbus, Columbidae, Corvidae, Fringillidae, Merula, Palumbus, Paridae, Parus, Parus ater, Periparus, Periparus ater, Pica, Pica hudsonia, Pica pica, Serinus, Serinus serinus, Sturnidae, Sturnus, Sturnus unicolor, Sturnus vulgaris, Turdidae, Turdus, Turdus maximus, Turdus merula
Abstract:This paper assesses the occurrence of density-dependent habitat selection in an urban fragmented landscape, composed of forest fragments (urban parks) connected by corridors (wooded streets), to test the hypothesis that as population density increased in the parks their suitability decreased and individuals entered alternative habitats, such as wooded streets. Density variation of six species was studied during two consecutive breeding seasons. Vegetation structure in wooded streets was significantly less complex than in urban parks, supporting the view that wooded streets were less suitable for breeding birds. Five species (Coal Tit Parus ater, Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor, Serin Serinus serinus, Black-billed Magpie Pica pica and Woodpigeon Columba palumbus) showed density- dependent habitat occupation of wooded streets, while the Common Blackbird Turdus merula did not. As park suitability decreased with rising densities, wooded streets became a profitable alternative in terms of foraging, breeding, or for moving between parks. However, the relationships varied both between and within species in different years. Such differences could have been caused by variable rates of human disturbance, renewal of resources and predation risks in wooded streets. More detailed studies are required to determine how birds perceive and regulate their population dynamics in fragments and associated corridors, particularly for species targeted for management.
Short Title:Ibis
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith