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1 August 2008 Landscape Structure and Spatial Scale Affect Space use by Songbirds in Naturally Patchy and Harvested Boreal Forests
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Abstract

Knowledge of how landscape structure influences patterns of animal space use is critical to developing sustainable landscape management practices. For breeding songbirds that defend a territory embedded within a larger home range, effects of structural change on movement may be manifested at multiple spatial scales. We used radio-telemetry to assess within-territory and home range space use as functions of the proportion of clearcut-harvested versus naturally unforested land for two species of Neotropical migrant songbirds. We tested whether these relationships varied with spatial scale by assessing landscape structure in both the local neighborhood (115 m radius around an individual's territory center) and across the landscape (1250 m radius). Territory size for riparian-associated male Northern Waterthrushes (Seiurus noveboracensis) was curvilinearly related to the proportion of harvested versus naturally unforested land and varied by greater than two orders of magnitude. Waterthrush territories were largest in the most heavily harvested landscapes. Home range space use by male Blackpoll Warblers (Dendroica striata), which are habitat generalists, was influenced by the ratio of clearcuts to natural gaps in both the neighborhood and landscape. Blackpolls may modify their behavior as a result of anthropogenic processes acting at both small and larger spatial scales, but we observed considerable interannual variability. Our results suggest that boreal forest–breeding passerines may be capable of modifying their space use behavior in response to moderate levels of structural change caused by forestry.

Tina D. Leonard, Philip D. Taylor, and Ian G. Warkentin "Landscape Structure and Spatial Scale Affect Space use by Songbirds in Naturally Patchy and Harvested Boreal Forests," The Condor 110(3), (1 August 2008). https://doi.org/10.1525/cond.2008.8512
Received: 8 November 2007; Accepted: 1 July 2008; Published: 1 August 2008
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