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Overabundant ungulates in French Sologne? Increasing red deer and wild boar pressure may not threaten woodland birds in mature forest stands

Baltzinger, Marie and Marell, Anders and Archaux, Frédéric and Pérot, Thomas and Leterme, Franck and Deconchat, Marc Overabundant ungulates in French Sologne? Increasing red deer and wild boar pressure may not threaten woodland birds in mature forest stands. (2016) Basic and Applied Ecology, 17 (6). 552-563. ISSN 1439-1791

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2016.04.005

Abstract

Increasing ungulate populations have been considered to drive changes in woodland bird communities in temperate and boreal forests. Ungulates may negatively affect understory-dependent woodland birds either directly or indirectly. For instance ungulates may prey on nests, or they may reduce the availability of nesting sites, foraging resources or cover for understory-dependent bird species. We conducted ungulate pressure, vegetation and bird surveys on 95 plots, in nineteen mature forest stands (9 fenced and 10 unfenced properties) located in the Sologne region (France). In such private forests, ungulate population densities are highly variable; we were therefore able to explore the effects of varying red deer (Cervus elaphus) browsing and wild boar (Sus scrofa) rooting intensity on bird communities. Bayesian Binomial mixture models indicated that ground-nesting birds were more abundant in forests with high observed wild boar rooting intensity. Generally, increasing deer browsing pressure did not have any negative effect on woodland birds in mature forest stands with a developed canopy, and did not result in lower shrub cover. Most previous studies documenting a negative effect of browsing on birds focused on young forest stands where overstory vegetation was scarce. Our results suggest that the impact of ungulate pressure on forest birds may decrease with forest stand age.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com The original PDF of the article can be found at Basic and Applied Ecology website : www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/14391791
HAL Id:hal-01408523
ProdINRA Id:352533
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - INRA (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut national de Recherche en Sciences et Technologies pour l'Environnement et l'Agriculture - IRSTEA (FRANCE)
Other partners > Biotope (FRANCE)
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Deposited On:19 Oct 2016 09:45

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