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Habitat preferences of male corn buntings emberiza calandra in North-Eastern Germany

Altewischer, Andrea ; Buschewski, Ulrike ; Ehrke, Christian ; Fröhlich, Johannes ; Gärtner, Antje LU ; Giese, Peter ; Günter, Franziska ; Heitmann, Nadja ; Hestermann, Maren and Hoffmann, Hannes , et al. (2015) In Acta Ornithologica 50(1). p.1-10
Abstract

Agricultural ecosystems have faced dramatic changes during past decades, resulting in a dramatic loss of farmland biodiversity. The Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra is considered a suitable indicator for the conservation value of farmland habitats, and has recently suffered strong declines throughout much of its European range. As a basis for targeted conservation measures, we investigated the habitat preferences of this species in north-eastern Germany by comparing the composition of male territories with randomly chosen control sites. A territory was defined as the area within a radius of 150 meters around the assumed centre of the territory, as the majority of nests is found within this radius. To assess food availability for... (More)

Agricultural ecosystems have faced dramatic changes during past decades, resulting in a dramatic loss of farmland biodiversity. The Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra is considered a suitable indicator for the conservation value of farmland habitats, and has recently suffered strong declines throughout much of its European range. As a basis for targeted conservation measures, we investigated the habitat preferences of this species in north-eastern Germany by comparing the composition of male territories with randomly chosen control sites. A territory was defined as the area within a radius of 150 meters around the assumed centre of the territory, as the majority of nests is found within this radius. To assess food availability for nestlings, arthropod abundance within the most abundant land use types i.e. crop fields, fallows, grassland as well as within unploughed strips was investigated. In total we found 102 male Corn Bunting territories, which were mainly composed of crop fields (50%), grassland (28%), and fallows (12%). Territories compared with control sites were characterized by a lower proportion of crop fields, a higher proportion of fallows, more diverse land use types, more abundant field boundaries, unploughed strips, and tracks, and a higher availability of song posts. However, neither the number of larger (≥ 1 cm), smaller (< 1 cm) or all arthropods differed significantly among analysed land use types i.e. crop fields, fallows, grassland, unploughed strips. Our study confirms the significance of habitat heterogeneity and especially of sites with sparse vegetation (fallows > 10%) and song posts (> 70 m 'linear song posts' or > 1 solitary post per ha) for the habitat selection of male Corn Buntings. We conclude that measures to halt population declines of Corn Buntings seem to be relatively easy to implement, provided that farmers are granted a fair compensation.

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publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
agricultural landscape, bunting, fallows, farmland biodiversity, farmland bird, field boundary, habitat heterogeneity, habitat selection
in
Acta Ornithologica
volume
50
issue
1
pages
10 pages
publisher
Polish Academy of Sciences
external identifiers
  • scopus:84941075259
ISSN
0001-6454
DOI
10.3161/00016454AO2015.50.1.001
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
b85267ad-76ac-4e03-a69e-88f73f361dc1
date added to LUP
2020-12-15 17:14:21
date last changed
2021-01-22 12:11:32
@article{b85267ad-76ac-4e03-a69e-88f73f361dc1,
  abstract     = {<p>Agricultural ecosystems have faced dramatic changes during past decades, resulting in a dramatic loss of farmland biodiversity. The Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra is considered a suitable indicator for the conservation value of farmland habitats, and has recently suffered strong declines throughout much of its European range. As a basis for targeted conservation measures, we investigated the habitat preferences of this species in north-eastern Germany by comparing the composition of male territories with randomly chosen control sites. A territory was defined as the area within a radius of 150 meters around the assumed centre of the territory, as the majority of nests is found within this radius. To assess food availability for nestlings, arthropod abundance within the most abundant land use types i.e. crop fields, fallows, grassland as well as within unploughed strips was investigated. In total we found 102 male Corn Bunting territories, which were mainly composed of crop fields (50%), grassland (28%), and fallows (12%). Territories compared with control sites were characterized by a lower proportion of crop fields, a higher proportion of fallows, more diverse land use types, more abundant field boundaries, unploughed strips, and tracks, and a higher availability of song posts. However, neither the number of larger (≥ 1 cm), smaller (&lt; 1 cm) or all arthropods differed significantly among analysed land use types i.e. crop fields, fallows, grassland, unploughed strips. Our study confirms the significance of habitat heterogeneity and especially of sites with sparse vegetation (fallows &gt; 10%) and song posts (&gt; 70 m 'linear song posts' or &gt; 1 solitary post per ha) for the habitat selection of male Corn Buntings. We conclude that measures to halt population declines of Corn Buntings seem to be relatively easy to implement, provided that farmers are granted a fair compensation.</p>},
  author       = {Altewischer, Andrea and Buschewski, Ulrike and Ehrke, Christian and Fröhlich, Johannes and Gärtner, Antje and Giese, Peter and Günter, Franziska and Heitmann, Nadja and Hestermann, Maren and Hoffmann, Hannes and Kleinschmidt, Friederike and Kniepkamp, Björn and Linke, Wilhelm and Mayland-Quellhorst, Tore and Pape, Jonas and Peterson, Tom and Schendel, Vanessa and Schwieger, Sarah and Wadenstorfer, Andrea and Fischer, Klaus},
  issn         = {0001-6454},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {06},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {1--10},
  publisher    = {Polish Academy of Sciences},
  series       = {Acta Ornithologica},
  title        = {Habitat preferences of male corn buntings emberiza calandra in North-Eastern Germany},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3161/00016454AO2015.50.1.001},
  doi          = {10.3161/00016454AO2015.50.1.001},
  volume       = {50},
  year         = {2015},
}