Winter bird communities in woodland in the Forest of Dean, England, and some implications of livestock grazing

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1991
Authors:Hill, DA, Lambton, S, Proctor, I, Bullock, I
Journal:Bird Study
Volume:38
Issue:1
Date Published:1991
ISBN Number:0006-3657
Keywords:Aegithalos, Aegithalos caudatus, Carduelis, Carduelis Spinus, Coccothraustes, Coccothraustes coccothraustes, Columba, Columba palumbus, Cyanistes, Cyanistes caeruleus, Fringilla, Fringilla coelebs, Fringilla montifringilla, Fringillidae, indicator, Montifringilla, Palumbus, Paridae, Parus, Parus ater, Parus caeruleus, Parus major, Periparus, Periparus ater, Pica, Pica hudsonia, Pica pica, Regulus, Regulus regulus, Spinus, Spinus spinus
Abstract:Winter bird communities, sampled by transect methods, were compared between 9 woodland sites (1 ungrazed oak, 4 grazed oak, 4 grazed conifer) in the Forest of Dean Gloucestershire, during 2 winters (1984/85 and 1987/88). Ungrazed oak woodland had the highest counts of individual birds in both years. More species occurred in oak woods than in conifers. Ordination of the combined data from the 2 winters illustrated a consistent gradient of bird species composition (after the exclusion of 2 flocking species, Woodpigeon and Chaffinch), from evergreen coniferous to deciduous broadleaf. Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker, Hawfinch, Field fare, Brambling, Great Tit, Magpie and Siskin occurred largely towards the deciduous broadleaf end of the gradient. Classification of the bird data split the sites firstly into deciduous broadleaf and evergreen coniferous. In further sub-divisions, one group had tree species composition consisting largely of ungrazed oak for which the indicator bird species was Hawfinch. The indicator species of the grazed conifer group were Blue Tit, Goldcrest, Coal Tit and Long-tailed Tit. The tree species composition for the 5 final groups was then related to the number of bird species in them. In both years the mean number of species in the groups increased with an increase of the dominance of oak, with the highest value in ungrazed oak. The implications of the development of further ungrazed areas for conservation purposes are discussed.Winter bird communities, sampled by transect methods, were compared between 9 woodland sites (1 ungrazed oak, 4 grazed oak, 4 grazed conifer) in the Forest of Dean Gloucestershire, during 2 winters (1984/85 and 1987/88). Ungrazed oak woodland had the highest counts of individual birds in both years. More species occurred in oak woods than in conifers. Ordination of the combined data from the 2 winters illustrated a consistent gradient of bird species composition (after the exclusion of 2 flocking species, Woodpigeon and Chaffinch), from evergreen coniferous to deciduous broadleaf. Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker, Hawfinch, Field fare, Brambling, Great Tit, Magpie and Siskin occurred largely towards the deciduous broadleaf end of the gradient. Classification of the bird data split the sites firstly into deciduous broadleaf and evergreen coniferous. In further sub-divisions, one group had tree species composition consisting largely of ungrazed oak for which the indicator bird species was Hawfinch. The indicator species of the grazed conifer group were Blue Tit, Goldcrest, Coal Tit and Long-tailed Tit. The tree species composition for the 5 final groups was then related to the number of bird species in them. In both years the mean number of species in the groups increased with an increase of the dominance of oak, with the highest value in ungrazed oak. The implications of the development of further ungrazed areas for conservation purposes are discussed.
URL:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00063659109477068
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