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The importance of non-forest tree stand features for protection of the Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopos syriacus in agricultural landscape: a case study from South-Eastern Poland

Authors
  • Michalczuk, Jerzy1
  • 1 University of Rzeszów, Zelwerowicza 4, Rzeszow, 35-601, Poland , Rzeszow (Poland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Agroforestry Systems
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
May 13, 2020
Volume
94
Issue
5
Pages
1825–1835
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10457-020-00498-2
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Non-forest tree stands are important habitats for many species of birds in the agricultural landscape. They are also the main habitat of the Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopos syriacus, whose numbers have been decreasing in recent years in some parts of Europe. Recognition of the habitat requirements of this species may help better planning of its protection in the context of the treed agricultural landscapes. During this study, the habitat preferences of the Syrian Woodpecker were determined in the agricultural landscape of South-Eastern Poland. A set of 12 habitat parameters of tree stands located in the breeding territories of the Syrian Woodpecker (n = 122) and in randomly chosen control areas (n = 122) located outside the range of the breeding territories of this species were characterized. The number and species diversity of trees was significantly higher in stands located in Syrian Woodpecker territories than in the random control areas. Stands occupied by breeding pairs also had trees of worse health condition and a larger proportion of fruit trees. The model best explaining the probability of the occurrence of the species indicates that the Syrian Woodpecker requires mainly the presence of tree stands with a greater species diversity of trees, as well as tree stands in worse health condition. When planning the protection of this species’ habitats in the agricultural landscape, the characteristics of non-forest tree stands noted above should be taken into account.

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