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Usefulness of biophysical proxy data for modelling habitat of an endangered forest species: The white-backed woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, Sweden. Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Faculty of Forest Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Umeå, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4149-5137
School for Forest Management, Faculty of Forest Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Skinnskatteberg, Sweden.
School for Forest Management, Faculty of Forest Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Skinnskatteberg, Sweden.
2011 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, ISSN 0282-7581, E-ISSN 1651-1891, Vol. 26, no 6, 576-585 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Efficient conservation planning in managed forest landscapes requires knowledge about the location of functional habitat for specialised species. We explored the importance of different variables to predict habitat suitability for the white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos Bechstein), a proposed umbrella species in deciduous forest. Specifically, we tested whether biophysical proxy variables indicating management intensity and the occurrence of natural processes constituted a useful complement to traditional remotely sensed data on tree species composition and forest stand age for modelling the woodpecker's habitat. Presence-absence of the woodpecker during the study period (1986-2006) in southwestern Sweden was explained by the area of edge habitats (forest bordering water or farmland) and wetland forest, and location relative to the historical marine limit. The number of years with occurrence of the woodpecker in a territory was explained by the area of forest bordering water and wetland forest. Among traditional forest variables, the area of deciduous forest had a strong positive effect on both woodpecker presence-absence and the number of years with occurrence. The results support the hypothesis that edge habitats and forest types subject to natural processes favouring deciduous trees and dead wood creation are valuable to the woodpecker and should be prioritised in conservation planning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2011. Vol. 26, no 6, 576-585 p.
Keyword [en]
Conservation planning, deciduous forest, Dendrocopos leucotos, edge habitats, habitat suitability, land-use history, remote sensing
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-46418DOI: 10.1080/02827581.2011.599813ISI: 000295400300007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-80053307151OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-46418DiVA: diva2:867080
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Note

Funding agency: Swedish Society for Nature Conservation; Alvins Fond; Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Available from: 2015-11-04 Created: 2015-11-04 Last updated: 2015-11-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Habitat composition and restocking for conservation of the white-backed woodpecker in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Habitat composition and restocking for conservation of the white-backed woodpecker in Sweden
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, intense human land use, especially forestry, has led to profound changes in the landscape over time, especially within the forest ecosystems. A consequence of this is that several specialist species have become endangered. One group of specialists is the woodpeckers. The middle spotted woodpecker became extinct in Sweden in 1982 and the white-backed woodpecker is today Sweden’s most critically endangered forest-living bird. The white-backed woodpecker is dependent on old deciduous forests, rich in dead wood. The woodpecker is areademanding and hence one of the best indicators or umbrella species for biodiversity in this region. A long-term goal within the conservation of the species is to be able to make more accurate predictions of what is needed in the species habitat to establish a viable population, both in terms of composition of landscape and breeding territories. In addition to earlier studies better tools are needed for measuring the distribution of suitable and potential habitats and finding faster ways of creating optimal habitats. In an attempt to secure the future existence of the white-backed woodpecker in Sweden, restocking of birds are carried out. This presupposes availability of suitable habitats as well as strong enough landscape. Due to intense forestry the presumption for the species is, as stated above, alarming. Comparing the different populations around the Baltic Sea and Norway, great differences but also similarities can be seen, in landscape as well as in territory composition. It seems that fragmentation of foraging patches as well as amount of dead deciduous wood within the breeding territory is critical matters. Grey alder stands in Sweden should have high priority in conservation of habitat for the species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university, 2015. 54 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Life Science, 14
Keyword
White-backed woodpecker, Dendrocopos leucotos, Sweden, deciduous forest, suitable habitat, fragmentation, saproxylic insects, captive breeding, restocking
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-46073 (URN)978-91-7529-101-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-11-27, Hörsalen, Musikhögskolan, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Funding agency: Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC)

Available from: 2015-10-13 Created: 2015-10-13 Last updated: 2016-12-13Bibliographically approved

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