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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 1999

Threshold levels of habitat composition for the presence of the long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus) in a boreal landscape

Jansson, Gunnar; Angelstam, Per


We assessed the habitat patch occupancy of a deciduous-mixed forest specialist, the long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus), in a 1000 km(2) conifer dominated landscape in relation to two landscape parameters, namely proportion and isolation of suitable habitat. Data from five consecutive spring seasons were used and within habitat variation controlled for. The occurrence of long-tailed tits was positively related to the amount of habitat within 1 km(2) (p=0.0007) and negatively related to the distance between habitat patches (p < 0.0001). When combined, the two variables explained > 78% of the variation in local patch occupancy. There were distinct thresholds in these landscape variables for the probability of local long-tailed tit presence. In the model the probability increased from 0.1 to 0.8 when interpatch distance decreased from 500 to 100 m with 5% total habitat coverage. With a total proportion of 15% suitable habitat, the same probability jump occurred when interpatch distance changed from 900 to 500 m. The general importance of defined measurements and quantified threshold levels for species conservation and landscape management is discussed.


habitat isolation; thresholds; quantification; deciduous; long-tailed tit; Aegithalos caudatus; forest management; conservation; Sweden

Published in

Landscape Ecology
1999, volume: 14, number: 3, pages: 283-290

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Conservation Biology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Conservation Biology

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