Browsing by Subject "HABITAT SELECTION"

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  • Lehikoinen, Aleksi (2011)
    Predation affects life history traits of nearly all organisms and the population consequences of predator avoidance are often larger than predation itself. Climate change has been shown to cause phenological changes. These changes are not necessarily similar between species and may cause mismatches between prey and predator. Eurasian sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus, the main predator of passerines, has advanced its autumn phenology by about ten days in 30 years due to climate change. However, we do not know if sparrowhawk migrate earlier in response to earlier migration by its prey or if earlier sparrowhawk migration results in changes to predation risk on its prey. By using the median departure date of 41 passerine species I was able to show that early migrating passerines tend to advance, and late migrating species delay their departure, but none of the species have advanced their departure times as much as the sparrowhawk. This has lead to a situation of increased predation risk on early migrating long-distance migrants (LDM) and decreased the overlap of migration season with later departing short-distance migrants (SDM). Findings highlight the growing list of problems of declining LDM populations caused by climate change. On the other hand it seems that the autumn migration may become safer for SDM whose populations are growing. Results demonstrate that passerines show very conservative response in autumn phenology to climate change, and thus phenological mismatches caused by global warming are not necessarily increasing towards the higher trophic levels.
  • Tolvanen, Jere; Pakanen, Veli-Matti; Valkama, Jari; Tornberg, Risto (2017)
    Capsule: Mark-recapture data suggest low apparent survival and sex- and population-specific site fidelity and territory turnover in adult Northern Goshawks Accipiter gentilis breeding in northern Europe.Aims: To understand how species cope with global environmental change requires knowledge of variation in population demographic rates, especially from populations close to the species' northern range limit and from keystone species such as raptors. We analyse apparent survival and breeding dispersal propensity of adult Northern Goshawks breeding in northern Europe.Methods: We used long-term mark-recapture data from two populations in Finland, northern Europe, and Cormack-Jolly-Seber models and binomial generalized linear models to investigate sex- and population-specific variation in apparent survival, territory turnover and site fidelity.Results: We report low apparent survival (53-72%) of breeding adult Goshawks. Breeding dispersal propensity was higher in females than males, especially in northern Finland, contrasting with previous studies that suggest high site fidelity in both sexes.Conclusion: Low apparent survival in females may be mainly due to permanent emigration outside the study areas, whereas in males the survival rate may truly be low. Both demographic aspects may be driven by the combination of sex-specific roles related to breeding and difficult environmental conditions prevailing in northern latitudes during the non-breeding season.
  • Sirkiä, Saija; Lindén, Andreas; Helle, Pekka; Nikula, Ari; Knape, Jonas; Lindén, Harto (2010)
  • Kivinen, Sonja; Nummi, Petri; Kumpula, Timo (2020)
    Beavers (Castorsp.) are ecosystem engineers that cause significant changes to their physical environment and alter the availability of resources to other species. We studied flood dynamics created by American beaver (C. canadensisK.) in a southern boreal landscape in Finland in 1970-2018. We present for the first time, to our knowledge, a temporally continuous long-term study of beaver-induced flood disturbances starting from the appearance of beaver in the area. During the 49 years, the emergence of new sites flooded by beaver and repeated floods (61% of the sites) formed a dynamic mosaic characterized by clustered patterns of beaver sites. As beaver dispersal proceeded, connectivity of beaver sites increased significantly. The mean flood duration was approximately three years, which highlights the importance of datasets with high-temporal resolution in detecting beaver-induced disturbances. An individual site was often part of the active flood mosaic over several decades, although the duration and the number of repeated floods at different sites varied considerably. Variation of flood-inundated and post-flood phases at individual sites resulted in a cumulative number of unique patches that contribute to environmental heterogeneity in space and time. A disturbance mosaic consisting of patches differing by successional age and flood history is likely to support species richness and abundance of different taxa and facilitate whole species communities. Beavers are thus a suitable means to be used in restoration of riparian habitat due to their strong and dynamic influence on abiotic environment and its biotic consequences.
  • Virkkala, Raimo; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Rajasärkkä, Ari (2020)
    Protected areas (PAs) should maintain populations of focal species, but their ability to achieve this target is affected both by land use outside PAs and by climate warming. To study effects of land use on species and ability of PAs to maintain populations of species, we compared trends in abundance of 15 resident bird species between two periods of relatively stable and increasing logging volume in boreal forests in Finland, in 2006-2011 and 2012-2018, respectively. We studied trends in abundance of forest birds in unprotected areas and in PAs, where logging is not allowed. In general, patterns of population changes did not differ between PAs and unprotected areas. Abundances of ten of the 15 species were, however, concentrated in southern Finland, where PAs have low coverage, and where trends in abundance merely reflect changes in unprotected areas. Five species declined, and they all probably suffered from the effects of increased logging. Four of them had a southern distribution in Finland, so they should even benefit from the rapid climate warming occurring in these regions. In northern Finland, PAs cover a much higher proportion of land than in southern Finland, and thus PA network may better maintain populations, which was also reflected in more stable populations of species therein. For populations to persist in PAs and for PAs to buffer against environmental changes, a PA network should have a high level of coverage as in northernmost Finland thus supporting Aichi Target 11.
  • Byholm, Patrik; Burgas, Daniel; Virtanen, Tarmo; Valkama, Jari (2012)
  • Lehikoinen, Petteri; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Mikkola-Roos, Markku; Jaatinen, Kim (2017)
    Human actions have led to loss and degradation of wetlands, impairing their suitability as habitat especially for waterbirds. Such negative effects may be mitigated through habitat management. To date scientific evidence regarding the impacts of these actions remains scarce. We studied guild specific abundances of breeding and staging birds in response to habitat management on 15 Finnish wetlands. In this study management actions comprised several means of vegetation removal to thwart overgrowth. Management cost efficiency was assessed by examining the association between site-specific costs and bird abundances. Several bird guilds exhibited positive connections with both habitat management as well as with invested funds. Most importantly, however, red-listed species and species with special conservation concern as outlined by the EU showed positive correlations with management actions, underlining the conservation value of wetland management. The results suggest that grazing was especially efficient in restoring overgrown wetlands. As a whole this study makes it clear that wetland habitat management constitutes a feasible conservation tool. The marked association between invested funds and bird abundance may prove to be a valuable tool for decision makers when balancing costs and impact of conservation measures against one another.
  • Fraixedas, Sara; Linden, Andreas; Husby, Magne; Lehikoinen, Aleksi (2020)
    The Common Crane (Grus grus) population has experienced an unprecedented increase across Europe during the last decades. Although cranes feed mostly on invertebrates, amphibians and berries during the breeding season, they can also eat eggs and young of other birds. Therefore, conservationists have raised concerns about the potential predatory effect of cranes on wetland avifauna, but the effects of crane predation on bird numbers have so far not been investigated. We here test the relationship between the crane and peatland bird population' abundances in Finland for five common wader and passerine species, and a set of seven less common waders, using line-transect data spanning from 1987 to 2014. We found that the population densities of two small passerines (Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis and Western Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava) and one wader species (Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola) were positively associated with crane numbers, probably related to a protective effect against nest predators. For the two other common species and the set of less common waders, we did not find any significant relationships with crane abundance. None of the species was influenced by the (lagged) effect of crane presence (i.e. years since crane was first observed). Peatland drainage was responsible for most species' negative densities, indicating the need to protect and restore peatlands to mitigate the loss of peatland bird diversity in Finland. In addition, openness, wetness and area size were important peatland characteristics positively influencing most of the studied bird populations. The development in crane and other mire bird numbers in Europe should be monitored regularly to reveal any possible future predatory effects contributing to the shaping of the peatland bird community.
  • Gray, Claudia L.; Slade, Eleanor M.; Mann, Darren J.; Lewis, Owen T. (2014)
  • Aben, J.; Adriaensen, F.; Thijs, K. W.; Pellikka, P.; Siljander, M.; Lens, L.; Matthysen, E. (2012)
  • Mäkinen, Jussi; Vanhatalo, Jarno (2018)
    Aim Our aim involved developing a method to analyse spatiotemporal distributions of Arctic marine mammals (AMMs) using heterogeneous open source data, such as scientific papers and open repositories. Another aim was to quantitatively estimate the effects of environmental covariates on AMMs’ distributions and to analyse whether their distributions have shifted along with environmental changes. Location Arctic shelf area. The Kara Sea. Methods Our literature search focused on survey data regarding polar bears (Ursus maritimus), Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) and ringed seals (Phoca hispida). We mapped the data on a grid and built a hierarchical Poisson point process model to analyse species’ densities. The heterogeneous data lacked information on survey intensity and we could model only the relative density of each species. We explained relative densities with environmental covariates and random effects reflecting excess spatiotemporal variation and the unknown, varying sampling effort. The relative density of polar bears was explained also by the relative density of seals. Results The most important covariates explaining AMMs’ relative densities were ice concentration and distance to the coast, and regarding polar bears, also the relative density of seals. The results suggest that due to the decrease in the average ice concentration, the relative densities of polar bears and walruses slightly decreased or stayed constant during the 17‐year‐long study period, whereas seals shifted their distribution from the Eastern to the Western Kara Sea. Main conclusions Point process modelling is a robust methodology to estimate distributions from heterogeneous observations, providing spatially explicit information about ecosystems and thus serves advances for conservation efforts in the Arctic. In a simple trophic system, a distribution model of a top predator benefits from utilizing prey species’ distributions compared to a solely environmental model. The decreasing ice cover seems to have led to changes in AMMs’ distributions in the marginal Arctic region.
  • Turkia, Tytti; Jousimo, Jussi; Tiainen, Juha; Helle, Pekka; Rintala, Jukka; Hokkanen, Tatu; Valkama, Jari; Selonen, Vesa (2020)
    Spatial synchrony between populations emerges from endogenous and exogenous processes, such as intra- and interspecific interactions and abiotic factors. Understanding factors contributing to synchronous population dynamics help to better understand what determines abundance of a species. This study focuses on spatial and temporal dynamics in the Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) using snow-track data from Finland from 29 years. We disentangled the effects of bottom-up and top-down forces as well as environmental factors on population dynamics with a spatiotemporally explicit Bayesian hierarchical approach. We found red squirrel abundance to be positively associated with both the abundance of Norway spruce (Picea abies) cones and the predators, the pine marten (Martes martes) and the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), probably due to shared habitat preferences. The results suggest that red squirrel populations are synchronized over remarkably large distances, on a scale of hundreds of kilometres, and that this synchrony is mainly driven by similarly spatially autocorrelated spruce cone crop. Our research demonstrates how a bottom-up effect can drive spatial synchrony in consumer populations on a very large scale of hundreds of kilometres, and also how an explicit spatiotemporal approach can improve model performance for fluctuating populations.
  • Salgado, Ana; DiLeo, Michelle; Saastamoinen, Marjo (2020)
    1. Understanding species' habitat preferences are crucial to predict organisms' responses to the current climate crisis. In many insects, maternal habitat selection for oviposition essentially determines offspring performance. Whether future changes in climatic conditions may generate mismatches between oviposition preference and offspring performance, when mothers continue to prefer microhabitats that might threaten offspring survival, is an open question. 2. To address this gap, we tested if oviposition preferences of the Glanville fritillary butterfly Melitaea cinxia females put offspring at risk when plants are under drought stress conditions. Mainly, we focus on identifying the microhabitat determinants for oviposition and the variation of conditions experienced by the sessile offspring, using field observations from 12 populations collected over 2015–2018. These data are combined with 10 years of larval nest and precipitation data to understand within-population patterns of habitat selection. We tested whether the preferred microhabitats maximized the extended larval performance (i.e. overwinter survival). 3. We found that females preferentially oviposited in microhabitats with higher host plant abundance and higher proportion of host plants with signs of drought stress. In most years, larval nests had higher survival in these drought-stressed microhabitats. However, in an extremely dry year, only two nests survived over the summer. 4. Our results highlight that a failure to shift habitat preference under extreme climate conditions may have drastic consequences for the survival of natural populations under changing climatic conditions.
  • Gyllenberg, Mats; Kisdi, Eva; Weigang, Helene C. (2016)
    Empirical studies of dispersal indicate that decisions to immigrate are patch-type dependent; yet theoretical models usually ignore this fact. Here, we investigate the evolution of patch-type dependent immigration of a population inhabiting and dispersing in a heterogeneous landscape, which is structured by patches of low and high reward. We model the decision to immigrate in detail from a mechanistic underpinning. With the methods of adaptive dynamics, we derive both analytical and numerical results for the evolution of immigration when life-history traits are patch-type dependent. The model exhibits evolutionary branching in a wide parameter range and the subsequent coevolution can lead to a stable coexistence of a generalist, settling in patches of any type, and a specialist that only immigrates into patches of high reward. We find that individuals always settle in the patches of high reward, in which survival until maturation, relative fecundity and emigration probability are high. We investigate how the probability to immigrate into patches of low reward changes with model parameters. For example, we show that immigration into patches of low reward increases when the emigration probability in these patches increases. Further, immigration into patches of low reward decreases when the patches of high reward become less safe during the dispersal season. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Dixneuf, Charly; Peiris, Parami; Nummi, Petri; Sundell, Janne (2021)
    Biodiversity and habitats are under threat from many factors such as human population increase, habitat loss, fragmentation, and climate change. In freshwater habitats, including wetlands, biodiversity is expected to decline on a greater scale than in terrestrial ecosystems. Ephemeral wetlands are little studied habitats compared to other wetlands, such as permanent lakes and rivers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the vertebrate fauna present by ephemeral vernal pools and to see whether vernal pools increase the activity and diversity of vertebrates in a boreal forest ecosystem in northern Europe. We studied the activity and species richness of birds and mammals with direct observations, camera traps, feces tracking, and snap-trapping by ten vernal pools and ten permanent wetlands. Bird activity was higher in the spring period in vernal pools than in permanent wetlands. For large mammals, both activity and species richness were greater around vernal pools than by permanent wetlands. Of individuals species, the moose (Alces alces), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), and hares (Lepus europaeus and Lepus timidus) used vernal pools significantly more between seasons compared to permanent wetlands. Small mammal activity was higher by vernal pools in April, while in May and June the pattern reversed. In the light of these results, vernal pools seem to have different importance and use depending on the vertebrate group, e.g., for sheltering, foraging, resting, nesting, or thermoregulation.