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Forest clear-cuts as habitat for farmland birds and butterflies

Ram, Dafne LU ; Lindström, Åke LU ; Pettersson, Lars B. LU and Caplat, Paul LU (2020) In Forest Ecology and Management 473.
Abstract

The intensification of agriculture has resulted in more homogeneous landscapes and declines of many species associated with farmland or other semi-natural open habitats. In parallel, forestry has also intensified causing declines in many species associated with old-growth forests. While intensive forestry negatively affects forest species, it inadvertently creates new habitats such as clear-cuts, which attracts some farmland species. To understand the potential of clear-cuts as alternative habitat for farmland species, we need to know what makes clear-cuts attractive and whether they are suitable for reproduction and survival. We reviewed literature on the occurrence of farmland birds and butterflies in forest clear-cuts and synthesise... (More)

The intensification of agriculture has resulted in more homogeneous landscapes and declines of many species associated with farmland or other semi-natural open habitats. In parallel, forestry has also intensified causing declines in many species associated with old-growth forests. While intensive forestry negatively affects forest species, it inadvertently creates new habitats such as clear-cuts, which attracts some farmland species. To understand the potential of clear-cuts as alternative habitat for farmland species, we need to know what makes clear-cuts attractive and whether they are suitable for reproduction and survival. We reviewed literature on the occurrence of farmland birds and butterflies in forest clear-cuts and synthesise the current knowledge on factors and characteristics affecting their occurrence. Many farmland birds and butterflies do indeed use clear-cuts, and have been found in clear-cuts up to ten years after felling. Clear-cut characteristics of importance include age, size, retention structures, land-use history and landscape composition. However, direct measures of resource abundance such as food and hostplants are often lacking. In addition to the potential benefit of individual clear-cuts, the total clear-cut area in forested regions is often large. Together with the fact that clear-cuts may be occupied by farmland species for several years, the potential of clear-cuts as alternative habitat for farmland biodiversity is substantial. Clear-cuts with a history as meadows, the presence of species of conservation importance, or shorter distance to farmland could for example be motivations for focusing conservation efforts on farmland species instead of forest species. Gaining more knowledge on how farmland species use clear-cuts, and what characteristics they depend on, could help inform management guidelines. We are no advocates for forest clear-cuts, but given their ubiquity in forested landscapes, the potential of clear-cuts as alternative habitats for species suffering from loss of suitable farmland habitats is worth serious attention from a conservation perspective.

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author
; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Conservation, Novel habitat, Production forestry, Review
in
Forest Ecology and Management
volume
473
article number
118239
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85086379465
ISSN
0378-1127
DOI
10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118239
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
77467b57-338c-4c30-8e7f-b3feeff5ad02
date added to LUP
2020-06-29 09:01:14
date last changed
2021-01-19 04:23:32
@article{77467b57-338c-4c30-8e7f-b3feeff5ad02,
  abstract     = {<p>The intensification of agriculture has resulted in more homogeneous landscapes and declines of many species associated with farmland or other semi-natural open habitats. In parallel, forestry has also intensified causing declines in many species associated with old-growth forests. While intensive forestry negatively affects forest species, it inadvertently creates new habitats such as clear-cuts, which attracts some farmland species. To understand the potential of clear-cuts as alternative habitat for farmland species, we need to know what makes clear-cuts attractive and whether they are suitable for reproduction and survival. We reviewed literature on the occurrence of farmland birds and butterflies in forest clear-cuts and synthesise the current knowledge on factors and characteristics affecting their occurrence. Many farmland birds and butterflies do indeed use clear-cuts, and have been found in clear-cuts up to ten years after felling. Clear-cut characteristics of importance include age, size, retention structures, land-use history and landscape composition. However, direct measures of resource abundance such as food and hostplants are often lacking. In addition to the potential benefit of individual clear-cuts, the total clear-cut area in forested regions is often large. Together with the fact that clear-cuts may be occupied by farmland species for several years, the potential of clear-cuts as alternative habitat for farmland biodiversity is substantial. Clear-cuts with a history as meadows, the presence of species of conservation importance, or shorter distance to farmland could for example be motivations for focusing conservation efforts on farmland species instead of forest species. Gaining more knowledge on how farmland species use clear-cuts, and what characteristics they depend on, could help inform management guidelines. We are no advocates for forest clear-cuts, but given their ubiquity in forested landscapes, the potential of clear-cuts as alternative habitats for species suffering from loss of suitable farmland habitats is worth serious attention from a conservation perspective.</p>},
  author       = {Ram, Dafne and Lindström, Åke and Pettersson, Lars B. and Caplat, Paul},
  issn         = {0378-1127},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Forest Ecology and Management},
  title        = {Forest clear-cuts as habitat for farmland birds and butterflies},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118239},
  doi          = {10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118239},
  volume       = {473},
  year         = {2020},
}