Long‐term effects of agri‐environment schemes on breeding passerine populations in a lowland hay‐meadow system

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2011
Authors:Broyer, J
Journal:Bird Study
Volume:58
Issue:2
Date Published:2011
ISBN Number:0006-3657
Keywords:Emberiza, Emberiza calandra, Emberiza godlewskii, Emberizidae, France, Miliaria, Miliaria calandra, Muscicapidae, Passer, Saxicola, Saxicola rubetra
Abstract:Capsule Mowing postponement in 25% of a meadow system may lead to improved but instable population dynamics in meadow birds. Aim To monitor the long?term effects of mowing postponement on the abundance and territory density of meadow passerines in 25% of a 3000?ha hay?meadow area in the Saône Valley (eastern France). Methods From 1993 to 2009, passerine abundance was measured annually in 78 plots using point counts and territory density was assessed in two study areas by Territory Mapping. Results The programme of mowing postponement led to substantially increased passerine abundance and territory density, with the highest increase detected in Whinchats Saxicola rubetra. No positive trend was observed in Corn Buntings Emberiza calandra. Immediately after the increase in abundance, bird distribution within the study area was not influenced by the timing of mowing. The hatching success, assessed by the systematic observation of food carrying, was negatively influenced by early mowing (<40% recorded when >60% of the meadow area was already harvested on 1 July) or, in late mown areas, by high meadow passerine territory density (<40% when territory density was >10 per 10 ha). Hatching rate was usually higher in Whinchats than in Corn Buntings. Conclusion By improving meadow passerine breeding outputs and density, mowing postponement led to instable population dynamics with dominance of certain species and density?dependent breeding success.Capsule Mowing postponement in 25% of a meadow system may lead to improved but instable population dynamics in meadow birds. Aim To monitor the long?term effects of mowing postponement on the abundance and territory density of meadow passerines in 25% of a 3000?ha hay?meadow area in the Saône Valley (eastern France). Methods From 1993 to 2009, passerine abundance was measured annually in 78 plots using point counts and territory density was assessed in two study areas by Territory Mapping. Results The programme of mowing postponement led to substantially increased passerine abundance and territory density, with the highest increase detected in Whinchats Saxicola rubetra. No positive trend was observed in Corn Buntings Emberiza calandra. Immediately after the increase in abundance, bird distribution within the study area was not influenced by the timing of mowing. The hatching success, assessed by the systematic observation of food carrying, was negatively influenced by early mowing (<40% recorded when >60% of the meadow area was already harvested on 1 July) or, in late mown areas, by high meadow passerine territory density (<40% when territory density was >10 per 10 ha). Hatching rate was usually higher in Whinchats than in Corn Buntings. Conclusion By improving meadow passerine breeding outputs and density, mowing postponement led to instable population dynamics with dominance of certain species and density?dependent breeding success.
URL:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00063657.2010.543645
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