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... Even though the Po Plain presents a subcontinental climate, it is separated from the rest of continental Europe by the Alps, which could act as a zoogeographical barrier (Bianco 1990;Hermansen et al. 2011). Furthermore, even if it is attributable to the Mediterranean Basin, the climate, the land use, and the vegetation in the Po Plain differ from the rest of the Mediterranean area (Mikusiński and Angelstam 1997;Capotorti et al. 2012). ...
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Knowing the ecology of game species is important to define sustainable hunting pressure and to plan management actions aimed to maintain viable populations. Common pheasant ( Phasianus colchicus ) is one of the main gamebird species in Europe and North America, despite its native range extending from the Caucasus to Eastern China. This research aimed to define the environmental variables shaping the spatial distribution of male pheasants and to estimate their breeding density in an agroecosystem of northern Italy. During the breeding season, 2015, we carried out 372 point counts with unlimited distances, randomly placed following a stratified sampling survey design. The habitat requirements of the pheasant were evaluated following a presence vs. availability approach, using environmental variables related to land use cover and landscape configuration. We built generalized linear models with a binary distribution, selecting variables following an information-theoretic approach. Densities were estimated through both conventional and multiple-covariate distance sampling. We estimated a density of 1.45 males/km ² , with 4.26 males/km ² in suitable areas and 0.91 males/km ² in unsuitable ones. We found pheasants in areas with meadows and tree plantations, which were used to find food and refuges from predators and bad weather conditions. Similarly, woodlands have a positive effect on species occurrence, whereas arable lands were avoided, specifically maize and paddy fields. We found little evidence that landscape configuration affects pheasant occurrence. We found pheasants to be negatively affected by the length of edges between woodlands and arable lands, whereas edges between woodlands and grasslands seem to be beneficial for the species. These findings could help landscape and wildlife managers to plan habitat improvement actions useful to maintain self-sustaining populations of this species, by increasing cover of woodlands, meadows, and tree plantations.
... In the last two decades, the structural-functional role of deadwoodall non-living woody biomass either standing dead trees and lying woody debris on the ground (Paletto and Tosi, 2010) in forests has been widely recognized by scientific community and decision makers (Müller and Bütler, 2010). Several studies have shown the importance of deadwood as microhabitat for saproxylic insects (Siitonen, 2001), fungi (Heilmann-Clausen, 2001), bacteria and actinobacteria (Pastorelli et al., 2020), bryophytes (Rajandu et al., 2009), lichens (Humphrey et al., 2004), amphibians (Raymond and Hardy, 1991), small mammals (Fauteux et al., 2012), and birds (Mikusinski and Angelstam, 1997). In addition, deadwood plays a key role in carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles (Laiho and Prescott, 1999) and in the stand dynamics and regeneration of natural and semi-natural forests (Duvall and Grigal, 1999). ...
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In the last decades, the structural and functional role of standing dead trees and lying deadwood in forests has been widely recognized by scientific community and forest managers. However, a large amount of deadwood in forests can have negative impacts on recreational forests by reducing the aesthetic value and site attractiveness. The aims of the present study are to investigate whether deadwood in forests is truly perceived negatively by people and whether socio-demographic characteristics influence the respondents’ perception. To achieve these aims, the study was implemented by submitting an online questionnaire to a sample of 1292 Italian citizens. The results show that 73.4% of respondents have previous knowledge of the concept of deadwood in forests, while 26.6% have never heard this concept. For most of the respondents, standing dead trees and lying deadwood have a negative aesthetic effect on the landscape (52.2% and 42.9%), while for only 7.5% and 23.0% of respondents standing dead trees and lying deadwood have a positive effect on forest landscape. The results show that for all six forest stands proposed (Old European beech coppice, Mediterranean maquis, Norway spruce high forest, simple sweet Chestnut coppice, European beech high forest, black pine high forest) the respondents prefer the situation without deadwood. Finally, the results show that deadwood – both standing dead trees and lying deadwood – in forests is on average more appreciated by male (rather than female), young people (rather than old people), and people with a low level of education (rather than people with a high level of education).
... In the 20th century, there was a significant decline in the population of this species due to intensive forest management resulting in the loss of suitable habitats. Now, the species is close to extinction or extinct in many parts of Europe [1,[4][5][6]. Detailed knowledge of the foragingsite preferences of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker, which can potentially vary throughout the year, is one of the basic conditions for establishing an effective conservation strategy for this species. ...
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The distribution of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Leiopicus medius) is restricted to mature deciduous forests with large trees, mainly oaks (Quercus spp.). Intensive forest management resulted in the loss of many suitable habitats, thus resulting in a decline in the population of this species. This study aimed to identify the parameters of foraging sites in the breeding season (April to June) and in the non-breeding season (other months). The research was conducted in the primeval oak-lime-hornbeam forest of the Białowieża National Park, where foraging woodpeckers were observed and detailed parameters of foraging sites were recorded. During the breeding season woodpeckers foraged primarily on European hornbeams (Carpinus betulus L.), but in non-breeding season the use of this tree species decreased by a factor of two, whereas the use of Norway spruces (Picea abies Linnaeus) increased more than twice. The most preferred tree species as a foraging site in both seasons was pedunculate oak (Quercus robur Linnaeus). In the non-breeding season, woodpeckers foraged at sites located higher, and the foraging session was longer compared with the breeding season. In both seasons, woodpeckers preferred dead and large trees and prey gleaning from the tree surface was their dominant foraging technique. Our results confirmed the key role of oaks and large trees, but also revealed the importance of European hornbeams and Norway spruces as foraging sites for the Middle Spotted Woodpecker.
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Purpose of Review Wildfires, wind storms, and pest outbreaks are the main large-scale disturbances of temperate and boreal forests, which often generate large amounts of deadwood in the landscape. Salvage and sanitation loggings (hereafter salvage logging) are usually practiced following such disturbance events and the generated deadwood is then extracted from the forest. Those practices affect a broad array of species, including fungi, lichens, invertebrates, and vertebrates that make use of deadwood either as habitat, food resource, foraging substrate, or as shelter. Woodpeckers, being a key group of forest birds dependent on deadwood, can be affected by salvage logging in two ways: (1) a reduction in the availability of food (i.e. removal of deadwood along with the saproxylic and predatory invertebrates that usually colonize dead or dying trees following forest disturbances) and (2) a decrease in potential nest sites due to the removal of dead trees. Therefore, we assessed the global effects of salvage logging on woodpecker abundance and reproduction by conducting a meta-analysis of published and unpublished data. We focused on comparing woodpeckers’ responses to forest disturbance in salvage-logged and unlogged sites. We considered different types of responses found in the literature, including abundance, occurrence, nest density, and breeding success. When analyzing the responses of woodpeckers, we also accounted for the potential effects of tree density, time since logging, elevation, latitude, and the continent. Recent Findings We found that both numbers and reproduction of woodpeckers were affected by salvage logging following a disturbance event. Apart from salvage logging, woodpecker responses were not significantly related to any other variables. This highlights that salvage logging can pose a substantial threat to woodpecker assemblages as well as secondary cavity-users dependent on them. Summary Salvage logging and related practices that affect deadwood availability should be carefully planned and preferably avoided entirely in areas important for woodpecker conservation. In managed forests, deadwood should be retained in sufficient quantities to avoid detrimental impacts on woodpeckers and on forest biodiversity in general.
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Reportamos un evento de depredación el 13 de enero de 2018 de una lagartija espinosa de cabeza roja (Sceloporus pyrocephalus) por un carpintero enmascarado (Melanerpes chrysogenys) en un bosque tropical caducifolio en el volcán Gordo, al suroeste del Estado de México. Dicho evento consistió en la observación de un individuo de M. chrysogenys posado en un árbol sujetando con el pico a un individuo de S. pyrocephalus. Melanerpes chrysogenys se alimenta de insectos y de frutos; sin embargo, no se ha reportado que esta especie consume vertebrados. Aunque existen algunos reportes de depredación de reptiles por otro Piciformes, este registro representa el primer caso documentado de depredación de lagartijas para esta especie en México.
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The aim of the study was to update the distribution status of the species in Bulgaria and to evaluate the habitat and breeding territory requirements of the WbW. For that purpose, we created an explanatory model to find the environmental variables that best explain the landscape distribution of the species and choose of breeding territory. The locations of identified individuals (n = 714) were intersected with pre-generated UTM grids (10x10 km). The second part of the study about landscape and breeding territory models was conducted in three Natura 2000 sites – “Central Balkan”, “Strandzha” and “Sredna gora”. We assessed which environmental variables influence the landscape distribution of the southern WBW applying Recursive Partitioning and linear regression (PLS test) about breeding preferences. According to our study (2008–2018), the species is distributed in 118 squares, including 52 squares where the occurrence of the species is reported for the first time. The species’ presence was not confirmed in 57 squares. The results of the species distribution model do not show significant differences in the preferred habitats at the landscape level during the breeding and non-breeding season. Furthermore, that at the landscape level, the age of the forest (over 90-100 years) is the determining factor for the distribution of the species in all three studied areas. Only in the “Central Balkan” the altitude is more important than the age of the forest. Factors of the second and third order determining the distribution of the species at the landscape level are the altitude, the percentage of deciduous and mixed forests, the dominant tree species and the ruggedness. The breeding territories of the species in the three studied zones are located at an altitude of 160–1500 m with dominance of two species of beech and a large amount (average 35.82 m3/ ha-1 standing and 38.39 m3/ ha-1 lying) dead wood and low cut-downs intensity. According to the model, the factor variables that have the influence on the choice of nesting area are: number of trees over 50 cm in diameter (>28 pcs./ ha), amount of standing dead wood (>12.43 m3/ ha-1), amount of lying dead wood (>18 m3/ ha-1), circular area of the stumps and the presence of cut-downs in the last year.
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The relationships between structural complexity, deadwood abundance, microhabitat type and species-diversity indicators are excellent tools to monitor biodiversity in forest ecosystems. In spite of their importance, correlations between structural traits and Coleoptera communities in Mediterranean mountain forests have only rarely been investigated. Consequently, the magnitude and direction of the relationships between forest traits and biodiversity indicators remain poorly understood. In this study, we analyzed whether biodiversity indices of saproxylic and non-saproxylic beetle communities could be influenced by stand structure, microhabitat type, and deadwood abundance in two protected beech forests located in the central and southern Apennines (namely Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park, GSML, and Cilento, Vallo di Diano e Alburni National Park, CVDA). Standard measurements of forest structural traits and quantitative assessment of tree microhabitats and deadwood were carried out. Adult beetles were collected using window flight traps and emergence traps on decaying deadwood. The two beech forests were different in terms of both beetle communities and structural traits. A two-block partial least squares analysis 2B-PLS highlighted differences in biodiversity indices and structural traits between the two forest ecosystems. In GSML, we observed that biodiversity indices were positively correlated with the volume of coarse woody debris and the presence fungal infections, clefts into the sapwood, and woodpecker cavities, while more dominant beetle communities were found under denser canopy cover. In CVDA, Coleoptera abundance was positively correlated with the basal area and crown broken microhabitats. Our results point toward the relevance of ecological attributes in tracking changes in beetle biodiversity in specific forest contexts. In these protected Mediterranean mountain beech stands, in which the main forest management strategies have the primary objective of biodiversity conservation, we suggest to progressively increase the structural diversity and canopy dynamics, as well as the volume of coarse woody debris.
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Farmland birds represent a large proportion of European avifauna, and the populations of several species have suffered a dramatic decline in recent decades. Among these species, the European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur has undergone rapid decline in much of its European range. Therefore, the main aims of this research are to estimate the population density of the Turtle Dove and to investigate its habitat use at home range scale in an intensively cultivated agroeco-system in northern Italy. In the 2015 breeding season we carried out turtle dove counts from 372 point-counts, randomly allocated following a stratified cluster sampling design. The density was estimated by distance sampling, whereas the habitat suitability was assessed by Resource Selection Probability Function. In particular, we followed a presence vs availability approach, using binary logistic regression and the Information-Theoretic approach. During fieldwork, 76 observations of Turtle Dove were collected and a density of 5.0 pairs/km 2 was estimated. The Turtle Dove inhabits areas with high tree cover, either semi-natural forests or tree plantations, as well as areas with many shrubs and hedgerows. On the other hand, areas with a high proportion of crops, such as paddyfields, maize, and winter cereals are avoided. For the species' conservation, it is necessary to maintain a combination of habitat features with suitable nesting and feeding areas, as the degradation of either of these may reduce Turtle Dove populations.
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Capsule: There has been no trend in nest survival of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dryobates minor in the 70 years since the 1940s whereas the numbers of young per nesting attempt has declined. Late nests in any year are now significantly less productive than early ones. Aims: To test whether there has been a long-term decline in the nest survival and productivity of the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in Britain. Methods: Breeding data from 331 nests over the period 1949–2019 have been analysed. There were three sources – nest records submitted to the British Trust for Ornithology, a study by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds from 2006 to 2009 and records submitted to the Woodpecker Network from 2015 to 2019. Generalized linear models were used to analyse the records for first egg date, clutch size, numbers of young fledged, and numbers of nest days for which the nest was under observation. Data were grouped into three periods reflecting population trends of the bird (pre-1980, 1980–1999, 2000–2019) and we also analysed trends with year and spring temperature. Results: There was no trend in first egg date up to 1980 but subsequently it has advanced by 13 days. The mean clutch was 5.3 with no trend with period or year. There were no trends in nest survival during the egg stage or chick rearing. The mean number of young fledged was 2.6, with nests since 1980 fledging lower numbers of young than those pre-1980 and a decline with year. Loss of chicks, probably to starvation, was the main cause of low productivity. In the last period (2000–2019) nests started early in the season fledged more young than those started later, a trend not apparent in the earlier periods. Conclusions: Low productivity is a widespread problem for the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker which has probably been exacerbated by the trend towards warm springs.
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Data on spacing behavior of the Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) are rare, and systematic observations are lacking. I used homing technique (>90%) and triangulation to document range use of 28 radiotagged birds in an alpine mountain forest in southeastern Germany between 1994 and 2000. Common home range of a pair (x ± SE, n = 10) identified by the adaptive kernel method (95% use distribution) during the nesting period averaged 86.4 ± 23.4 ha and varied a great deal between pairs (range 33.9–287.4 ha). Although ranges of females (69.4 ± 15.4 ha, n = 14) appeared larger than those of males (45.7 ± 10.3 ha, n = 10), the difference was not significant. Prior to nesting and during the postnesting period, both sexes used seemingly larger home ranges than during nesting (≤381.7 ha); but again, the difference was not significant. Home ranges of mates (n = 20) during the nesting period overlapped an average of 66.5 ± 5.7% (≤100.0%); female ranges and core areas overlapped male ranges to a significantly greater extent than male ranges overlapped those of females. Nearly all home ranges bordered or overlapped those of their neighbors. Ranges of neighboring male-female combinations (n = 11) overlapped by 17.6 ± 3.9% during the nesting period, with an increasing tendency to overlap toward the end of the breeding season. Because areas used by Eurasian Three-toed Woodpeckers remained stable over the breeding season, I propose consideration of home ranges during nesting as a reliable estimate of species area requirements for use in management plans.
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