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Forskningsartikel - Refereegranskat, 2015

Linking occurrence and changes in local abundance of farmland bird species to landscape composition and land-use changes

Berg, Åke; Wretenberg, Johan; Zmihorski, Michal; Hiron, Matthew; Pärt, Tomas


Changes in agricultural policies have caused dramatic changes in land-use in agricultural landscapes. To investigate whether such changes in land-use relate to temporal changes in bird communities a repeated inventory (1994 and 2004) of farmland birds was made in 212 point-count sites in south-central Sweden.Distinct changes in abundance of several species over the study period were recorded, abundance of the 16 studied species decreased by 23%. The decline was significant for eight species, while two species increased significantly. Persistence and colonisation models suggested similar species-habitat relationships as the snapshot models, i.e. eight of the 12 associations were in line with what could be expected from the snapshot models. Occurrence of nine species was linked to land-use whereas six species displayed links between changes in occurrence and changes in land-use. In line with previous studies positive effects of short rotation coppice and negative effects of autumn-sown crops were found, while set-asides showed fewer effects than expected. In the snapshot models several species showed links to landscape characteristics such as amount of forest (negative for five species) and landscape heterogeneity (positive for six species). The evidence for effects of the landscape variables on persistence/colonisation was more restricted.The results suggest that both land-use changes and the landscape setting may cause local changes in abundance of farmland birds, even for species displaying a general decline in numbers between years, the effects of land-use changes being, however, strongly species specific. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Farmland birds; Landscape heterogeneity; Forest cover; Land-use changes; Population changes

Publicerad i

Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
2015, Volym: 204, sidor: 1-7