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The white-backed woodpecker: umbrella species for forest conservation planning?

Roberge, Jean-Michel; Mikusinski, Grzegorz and Svensson, Sören LU (2008) In Biodiversity and Conservation 17(10). p.2479-2494
Abstract
n northern Europe, a long history of land use has led to profound changes within forest ecosystems. The white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) is one of several specialised forest species whose populations have declined. Conservation management directed at this species’ habitat has made it a de facto umbrella species for conservation of the biodiversity associated with forests rich in deciduous trees and dead wood. We assessed empirically the value of the white-backed woodpecker as an indicator and umbrella species in central Sweden. Occurrence of the woodpecker in breeding bird atlas squares (5 × 5 km2) indicated high species richness of forest birds, particularly species of special conservation concern, which included on average... (More)
n northern Europe, a long history of land use has led to profound changes within forest ecosystems. The white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) is one of several specialised forest species whose populations have declined. Conservation management directed at this species’ habitat has made it a de facto umbrella species for conservation of the biodiversity associated with forests rich in deciduous trees and dead wood. We assessed empirically the value of the white-backed woodpecker as an indicator and umbrella species in central Sweden. Occurrence of the woodpecker in breeding bird atlas squares (5 × 5 km2) indicated high species richness of forest birds, particularly species of special conservation concern, which included on average 13% more species in squares with than without the woodpecker. The number of red-listed cryptogam species expected to benefit from conservation actions directed at white-backed woodpecker habitats was higher in squares where the woodpecker bred compared to where is was absent. However, no such pattern was found for red-listed beetles, a group with very few records in the studied squares. White-backed woodpecker occurrence was positively associated with the current area of deciduous and mixed forest of high conservation value. Considering its indicator value, its specialised habitat requirements and its potential as a communication tool, using the white-backed woodpecker as an umbrella species may provide a coarse filter for the conservation of several other deciduous forest species. However, focusing solely on white-backed woodpecker habitat may not provide for the conservation of all such species, which stresses the need for a suite of complementary planning approaches. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Biodiversity and Conservation
volume
17
issue
10
pages
2479 - 2494
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000258085400011
  • scopus:48549094547
ISSN
0960-3115
DOI
10.1007/s10531-008-9394-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3c06228c-9d9b-4085-8271-8ba84ad2024e (old id 1208820)
date added to LUP
2008-08-05 12:17:11
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:39:51
@article{3c06228c-9d9b-4085-8271-8ba84ad2024e,
  abstract     = {n northern Europe, a long history of land use has led to profound changes within forest ecosystems. The white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) is one of several specialised forest species whose populations have declined. Conservation management directed at this species’ habitat has made it a de facto umbrella species for conservation of the biodiversity associated with forests rich in deciduous trees and dead wood. We assessed empirically the value of the white-backed woodpecker as an indicator and umbrella species in central Sweden. Occurrence of the woodpecker in breeding bird atlas squares (5 × 5 km2) indicated high species richness of forest birds, particularly species of special conservation concern, which included on average 13% more species in squares with than without the woodpecker. The number of red-listed cryptogam species expected to benefit from conservation actions directed at white-backed woodpecker habitats was higher in squares where the woodpecker bred compared to where is was absent. However, no such pattern was found for red-listed beetles, a group with very few records in the studied squares. White-backed woodpecker occurrence was positively associated with the current area of deciduous and mixed forest of high conservation value. Considering its indicator value, its specialised habitat requirements and its potential as a communication tool, using the white-backed woodpecker as an umbrella species may provide a coarse filter for the conservation of several other deciduous forest species. However, focusing solely on white-backed woodpecker habitat may not provide for the conservation of all such species, which stresses the need for a suite of complementary planning approaches.},
  author       = {Roberge, Jean-Michel and Mikusinski, Grzegorz and Svensson, Sören},
  issn         = {0960-3115},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {10},
  pages        = {2479--2494},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Biodiversity and Conservation},
  title        = {The white-backed woodpecker: umbrella species for forest conservation planning?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-008-9394-4},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2008},
}