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Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus habitat in woods with different structure and management in southern England

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:Bellamy, PE, Hill, RA, Rothery, P, Hinsley, SA, Fuller, RJ, Broughton, RK
Journal:Bird Study
Volume:56
Date Published:2009
ISBN Number:0006-3657
Keywords:Phylloscopidae, Phylloscopus, Phylloscopus trochilus, Trochilus
Abstract:Capsule Use of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data identified suitable Willow Warbler habitat based on mean vegetation height. This habitat model provided maps of distribution and occupation of suitable habitat. Aims To identify habitat associations in woods with different vegetation structure and management systems during a period of low Willow Warbler populations. Methods Locations of all Willow Warblers were mapped during the breeding season in three woods of contrasting management; recent low intervention, actively coppiced woodland and high forest with clear?fells. Height profile models of each wood were derived from airborne LiDAR. The mean vegetation height at locations with Willow Warblers and a sample from the rest of the wood were used to produce models of optimum habitat and breadth of habitat occupied in each wood. The habitat model was then used to produce maps of suitable habitat. Results The habitat models did not differ between woods, with highest probability of Willow Warbler occurrence in mean vegetation heights of 3.7?5.3 m. Habitat of heights 6?11 m appeared less suitable, being only partly occupied. Habitat maps showed that habitat of suitable height was only occupied when it occurred as large patches; smaller patches (mostly <0.5 ha) and edges along rides and fields were not used. Conclusion The use of LiDAR derived measures of vegetation height identified areas of suitable habitat for Willow Warblers. Willow Warblers occupied areas of low mean vegetation height either as early successional or open canopy woodland in all woods. Height?based habitat maps can identify areas of suitable habitat within larger expanses of heterogeneous woodland and are a potentially useful tool in assessing changes in extent of what are often temporary patches of habitat.Capsule Use of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data identified suitable Willow Warbler habitat based on mean vegetation height. This habitat model provided maps of distribution and occupation of suitable habitat. Aims To identify habitat associations in woods with different vegetation structure and management systems during a period of low Willow Warbler populations. Methods Locations of all Willow Warblers were mapped during the breeding season in three woods of contrasting management; recent low intervention, actively coppiced woodland and high forest with clear?fells. Height profile models of each wood were derived from airborne LiDAR. The mean vegetation height at locations with Willow Warblers and a sample from the rest of the wood were used to produce models of optimum habitat and breadth of habitat occupied in each wood. The habitat model was then used to produce maps of suitable habitat. Results The habitat models did not differ between woods, with highest probability of Willow Warbler occurrence in mean vegetation heights of 3.7?5.3 m. Habitat of heights 6?11 m appeared less suitable, being only partly occupied. Habitat maps showed that habitat of suitable height was only occupied when it occurred as large patches; smaller patches (mostly <0.5 ha) and edges along rides and fields were not used. Conclusion The use of LiDAR derived measures of vegetation height identified areas of suitable habitat for Willow Warblers. Willow Warblers occupied areas of low mean vegetation height either as early successional or open canopy woodland in all woods. Height?based habitat maps can identify areas of suitable habitat within larger expanses of heterogeneous woodland and are a potentially useful tool in assessing changes in extent of what are often temporary patches of habitat.
URL:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00063650902806914
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith