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Open AccessArticle

Disentangling the Roles of Topography, Patch, and Land Use on Conservation Trait Status of Specialist Birds in Marginal Forest Land Use Types

1
Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamycka 1176, CZ-165 00 Prague, Czech Republic
2
Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Vinicna 7, CZ-128 44 Prague, Czech Republic
3
Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamycka 1176, CZ-165 00 Prague, Czech Republic
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(1), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010103
Received: 6 December 2019 / Revised: 28 December 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 14 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity under the Changing Land Use and Climate)
One of the main questions in ecology and conservation is how organisms are governed and affected by their traits within the context of abiotic gradients. The main question of our study addresses how patch, topography, and land use influence conservation trait status (rarity and red-list index) of birds generally, and of farmland and woodland specialists specifically, in marginal forest landscape types. We sampled birds from 68 traditional fruit orchards existing as remnants of agroforestry within the Pardubice Region of the Czech Republic during two consecutive years. We recorded 57 bird species, of which 31 species were forest dwellers and 16 farmland dwellers. Topographical predictors played the most significant role in influencing traits of the bird community as a whole. Farmland bird traits indicated the most balanced values, as they were significantly influenced by all studied predictor sets. Their responses nevertheless differed among the studied traits and also showed a more complex pattern because the values of interaction between some predictor categories were relatively high. Traits of woodland birds were most influenced by the patch configuration. We found that a structurally diversified marginal habitat type of traditional fruit orchards is able to promote a number of specialist species and also reveals important relationships between bird conservation traits and different predictor sets. Researchers should pay more attention to the conservation traits of birds and their interactions with environmental predictors. Furthermore, conservationists should be more attentive to the biodiversity value and sustainable management of traditional fruit orchards.
Keywords: agroforestry; bird conservation; traditional fruit orchard; rarity; red-list index; farmland specialist; woodland birds agroforestry; bird conservation; traditional fruit orchard; rarity; red-list index; farmland specialist; woodland birds
MDPI and ACS Style

Zasadil, P.; Romportl, D.; Horák, J. Disentangling the Roles of Topography, Patch, and Land Use on Conservation Trait Status of Specialist Birds in Marginal Forest Land Use Types. Forests 2020, 11, 103.

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