Wildfires can be the most influential phenomena in landscape dynamics and play an important role in determining avian populations. However, the intentional burning of habitats is still a controversial management practice and is legally prohibited in many countries. On the other hand, fires can positively control, or even slow down vegetation succession of reeds and bushes, and, in particular cases, may sustain a habitat for open marsh nesting specialists. One such species is the Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola, a globally threatened habitat specialist that breeds in open fens in Central and Eastern Europe. Because bush and reed encroachment threaten many suitable breeding areas, habitat management is necessary to maintain the open wetlands that Aquatic Warblers require for nesting. To assess whether burning was beneficial, we analysed Aquatic Warbler numbers and distribution in the Chełm calcareous marshes in eastern Poland on plots in different successional stages after accidental fires. Our study showed that numbers of warblers, at least of singing males, were lowest in the year of fire, but increased to higher levels in the year after burning and for several years after burning. We recommend that, in calcareous marshes which support up to 0.5% of the total population of this globally threatened species, intentional burning to control succession should be done before the arrival of warblers in spring in order to ensure burning is an effective management tool.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 49 • No. 2