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The effect of water conditions on breeding bird communities of pastures, meadows and shrub habitats in the Slonsk reserve, NW Poland



The effect of water conditions on breeding bird communities of pastures, meadows and shrub habitats in the Slonsk reserve, NW Poland



Biologia (Bratislava) 54(2): 207-214, April



In the years 1988-1989 and 1994-1995, bird communities of three habitats (meadows, pastures and shrubs) were studied by using the mapping method in the Slonsk reserve (NW Poland). Forty-three species were found on the study plots (33% of the breeding bird fauna of the reserve). The greatest number of species (15-18) were nesting on the shrub plots with average density (+- SD) 46 +- 9.3 pairs 10 ha-1. On meadows 9-13 species bred with average density 22 +- 3.9 pairs 10 ha-1. Pastures were habitats with 7-12 breeding species. The average density was 26 +- 15.4 pairs 10 ha-1. The structure of bird assemblages varied substantially between years and was related to the water level, vegetation variability and human impact. Pastures and meadows are the most fragile habitats, which, due to inappropriate management (drainage, cessation of grazing and cutting), quickly become overgrown with willow shrubs and irreparably lose their character. The Slonsk reserve is still an important site forsome rare and endangered species such as the corncrake Crex crex and the aquatic warbler Acrocephalus paludicola.

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Accession: 011498717

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