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Open AccessArticle

Impact of Energy Landscapes on the Abundance of Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis), an Example from North Germany

Department of Physical Geography and Geoinformatics, University of Szeged, Egyetem u. 2–6, H-6722 Szeged, Hungary
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Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020664
Received: 5 December 2019 / Revised: 10 January 2020 / Accepted: 11 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Ecology for Sustainability)
The increasing use of biomass for energy production is reshaping landscapes into energy landscapes. Our study aims to analyze the impact of the biogas energy landscape on the abundance of Eurasian skylark. The biogas power plants have a high impact on the landscape, because of the energy crops like silage maize and rape. We analyze land-use and land-cover heterogeneity in connection with this bird species in the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein. Three databases are used: abundance data of a typical farmland bird (Eurasian skylark), Corine land cover, and statistical land-use data from the German Agricultural Structure Survey. Several spatial analyses and statistical analyses were conducted. Generalized linear models are used with model averaging and predicted marginal effects were calculated. We estimate the changes in individuals per km2 by considering six crop types and the Shannon Diversity Index (SDI). The Eurasian skylark abundance has a significant negative correlation with the area of the inland wetlands, the Shannon Diversity Index (SDI), permanent crops, silage maize, and rape. We found significant positive correlation with the pasture, potato, and wheat. The replacement of pastures, Eurasian skylarks’ preferred habitat, with energy crops, mostly silage maize, and the ongoing homogenization of the landscape, negatively affected this species’ distribution in the study area. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy landscape; Eurasian skylark; land cover; land use; land-cover heterogeneity; crop heterogeneity energy landscape; Eurasian skylark; land cover; land use; land-cover heterogeneity; crop heterogeneity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Csikós, N.; Szilassi, P. Impact of Energy Landscapes on the Abundance of Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis), an Example from North Germany. Sustainability 2020, 12, 664.

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