Advanced

Assessing habitat quality of farm-dwelling house sparrows in different agricultural landscapes.

Post, Maria von LU ; Borgström, Pernilla LU ; Smith, Henrik LU and Olsson, Ola LU (2012) In Oecologia 168(4). p.959-966
Abstract
Having historically been abundant throughout Europe, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) has in recent decades suffered severe population declines in many urban and rural areas. The decline in rural environments is believed to be caused by agricultural intensification, which has resulted in landscape simplification. We used giving-up densities (GUDs) of house sparrows feeding in artificial food patches placed in farmlands of southern Sweden to determine habitat quality during the breeding season at two different spatial scales: the landscape and the patch scale. At the landscape scale, GUDs were lower on farms in homogeneous landscapes dominated by crop production compared to more heterogeneous landscapes with mixed farming or animal... (More)
Having historically been abundant throughout Europe, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) has in recent decades suffered severe population declines in many urban and rural areas. The decline in rural environments is believed to be caused by agricultural intensification, which has resulted in landscape simplification. We used giving-up densities (GUDs) of house sparrows feeding in artificial food patches placed in farmlands of southern Sweden to determine habitat quality during the breeding season at two different spatial scales: the landscape and the patch scale. At the landscape scale, GUDs were lower on farms in homogeneous landscapes dominated by crop production compared to more heterogeneous landscapes with mixed farming or animal husbandry. At the patch level, feeding patches with a higher predation risk (caused by fitting a wall to the patch to obstruct vigilance) had higher GUDs. In addition, GUDs were positively related to population size, which strongly implies that GUDs reflect habitat quality. However, the increase followed different patterns in homogeneous and heterogeneous landscapes, indicating differing population limiting mechanisms in these two environments. We found no effect of the interaction between patch type and landscape type, suggesting that predation risk was similar in both landscape types. Thus, our study suggests that simplified landscapes constitute a poorer feeding environment for house sparrows during breeding, that the population-regulating mechanisms in the landscapes differ, but that predation risk is the same across the landscape types. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Giving-up density, Foraging, Conservation, GUD, Predation
in
Oecologia
volume
168
issue
4
pages
959 - 966
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000301604200007
  • pmid:22037991
  • scopus:84858008434
ISSN
1432-1939
DOI
10.1007/s00442-011-2169-8
project
BECC
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3c2e1d9c-c58a-4ef9-a145-92d6322095db (old id 2221399)
date added to LUP
2011-12-05 12:35:42
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:09:43
@article{3c2e1d9c-c58a-4ef9-a145-92d6322095db,
  abstract     = {Having historically been abundant throughout Europe, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) has in recent decades suffered severe population declines in many urban and rural areas. The decline in rural environments is believed to be caused by agricultural intensification, which has resulted in landscape simplification. We used giving-up densities (GUDs) of house sparrows feeding in artificial food patches placed in farmlands of southern Sweden to determine habitat quality during the breeding season at two different spatial scales: the landscape and the patch scale. At the landscape scale, GUDs were lower on farms in homogeneous landscapes dominated by crop production compared to more heterogeneous landscapes with mixed farming or animal husbandry. At the patch level, feeding patches with a higher predation risk (caused by fitting a wall to the patch to obstruct vigilance) had higher GUDs. In addition, GUDs were positively related to population size, which strongly implies that GUDs reflect habitat quality. However, the increase followed different patterns in homogeneous and heterogeneous landscapes, indicating differing population limiting mechanisms in these two environments. We found no effect of the interaction between patch type and landscape type, suggesting that predation risk was similar in both landscape types. Thus, our study suggests that simplified landscapes constitute a poorer feeding environment for house sparrows during breeding, that the population-regulating mechanisms in the landscapes differ, but that predation risk is the same across the landscape types.},
  author       = {Post, Maria von and Borgström, Pernilla and Smith, Henrik and Olsson, Ola},
  issn         = {1432-1939},
  keyword      = {Giving-up density,Foraging,Conservation,GUD,Predation},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {959--966},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Oecologia},
  title        = {Assessing habitat quality of farm-dwelling house sparrows in different agricultural landscapes.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-011-2169-8},
  volume       = {168},
  year         = {2012},
}