Increased reproductive performance of Red-backed Shrikes Lanius collurio in forest clear-cuts

Abstract

In Sweden, the centre of distribution of the nationally red-listed Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio has shifted from farmland landscapes to forest landscapes from the 1960s until today. In this study, reproductive performance of Red-backed Shrikes breeding in grasslands in a 75-km2 farmland landscape and clear-cuts in a 75-km2 forest landscape was compared during 1994–1995. During 2003, order of settlement and reproductive performance as well as food abundance and nest predator abundance were assessed in a 3-km2 area in each landscape type. The average number of fledglings was significantly higher in clear-cuts than in grasslands. Furthermore, post-fledgling survival and the probability of replacement clutches following nest failure were likely to be higher in clear-cuts than in grasslands due to the significantly earlier arrival date to clear-cuts. These differences are likely explained by a lower nest predation in clear-cuts compared to grasslands. Today, forest clear-cuts represent the primary habitat of the Red-backed Shrike in Sweden, and probably also elsewhere in the boreal parts of northern Europe.

Zusammenfassung

In Schweden hat sich das Verbreitungszentrum des in der nationalen Roten Liste geführten Neuntöters Lanius collurio von den 1960er Jahren bis heute von Ackerlandschaften zu Waldlandschaften hin verschoben. In dieser Studie haben wir die Fortpflanzungsleistung von Neuntötern, die in Grasflächen in einer 75 km2 großen Ackerlandschaft brüteten, und Neuntötern, die in Kahlschlagsflächen in einer 75 km2 großen Waldlandschaft brüteten, in den Jahren 1994 und 1995 verglichen. Im Jahre 2003 wurden die Reihenfolge der Ansiedlung und die Fortpflanzungsleistung sowie die Nahrungs- und Nesträuberabundanz in einer 3 km2 großen Fläche in beiden Landschaftstypen abgeschätzt. Die durchschnittliche Anzahl ausgeflogener Jungvögel war in Kahlschlagsflächen signifikant höher als in Grasflächen. Außerdem waren das Überleben nach dem Ausfliegen und die Wahrscheinlichkeit von Ersatzgelegen nach Nestverlust in Kahlschlagsflächen aufgrund des signifikant früheren Ankunftsdatums wahrscheinlich höher als in Grasflächen. Diese Unterschiede können wahrscheinlich mit einer niedrigeren Nestprädationsrate in Kahlschlagsflächen verglichen mit Grasflächen erklärt werden. Heutzutage stellen Kahlschlagsflächen das Primärhabitat des Neuntöters in Schweden und vermutlich auch anderswo in den Borealregionen Nordeuropas dar.

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Acknowledgments

We wish to express thanks to the Master of Science students Maria Hoflin, Sören Eriksson and Pär Karlsson who performed much of the field work. The Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences and SLU financed this study.

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Correspondence to Bo Söderström.

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Communicated by T. Friedl.

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Söderström, B., Karlsson, H. Increased reproductive performance of Red-backed Shrikes Lanius collurio in forest clear-cuts. J Ornithol 152, 313–318 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10336-010-0587-8

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Keywords

  • Breeding biology
  • Grasslands
  • Clear-cuts
  • Sources
  • Sinks