AVIS-IBIS

Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Habitat preferences of the Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopos syriacus in urban environments: an ambiguous effect of pollution

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2013
Authors:Ciach, M, Fröhlich, A
Journal:Bird Study
Volume:60
Issue:4
Date Published:2013
ISBN Number:0006-3657
Keywords:Dendrocopos, Dendrocopos syriacus, Picidae, Picoides syriacus
Abstract:Capsule The occurrence of the Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopos syriacus in an urbanized habitat is determined by the number of trees and pollutant emissions. Air pollution may weaken trees and increase the number of insects inhabiting them.Aims To determine the habitat preferences of the Syrian Woodpecker in the highly urbanized environment of the city of Kraków.Methods A set of 13 habitat and environmental parameters of 50 breeding territories and 50 random points were evaluated. A logistic regression was used to determine the probability of species occurrence, and Akaike's information criterion was used for model selection.Results The number of trees, coverage of woody vegetation, total vegetation cover and level of pollutant emissions were significantly higher in Syrian Woodpecker breeding territories than in the random points. The model best explaining the probability of species occurrence consisted of four parameters: the number of trees, coverage of the total built-up area, total vegetation cover and pollutant emissions. The parameters best explaining a high probability of species occurrence were high number of trees and high pollutant emissions.Conclusion Air pollution may weaken trees and potentially increase the number of insects inhabiting them, an important component of the Syrian Woodpecker's diet. However, the negative impact of air pollution on birds may impact on their condition. Urban habitats could, therefore, act as an ecological trap for this species.Capsule The occurrence of the Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopos syriacus in an urbanized habitat is determined by the number of trees and pollutant emissions. Air pollution may weaken trees and increase the number of insects inhabiting them.Aims To determine the habitat preferences of the Syrian Woodpecker in the highly urbanized environment of the city of Kraków.Methods A set of 13 habitat and environmental parameters of 50 breeding territories and 50 random points were evaluated. A logistic regression was used to determine the probability of species occurrence, and Akaike's information criterion was used for model selection.Results The number of trees, coverage of woody vegetation, total vegetation cover and level of pollutant emissions were significantly higher in Syrian Woodpecker breeding territories than in the random points. The model best explaining the probability of species occurrence consisted of four parameters: the number of trees, coverage of the total built-up area, total vegetation cover and pollutant emissions. The parameters best explaining a high probability of species occurrence were high number of trees and high pollutant emissions.Conclusion Air pollution may weaken trees and potentially increase the number of insects inhabiting them, an important component of the Syrian Woodpecker's diet. However, the negative impact of air pollution on birds may impact on their condition. Urban habitats could, therefore, act as an ecological trap for this species.
URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00063657.2013.847899
Short Title:Bird Study
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith