Habitat effects on the breeding performance of three forest-dwelling hawks

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Björklund , H , Valkama , J , Tomppo , E & Laaksonen , T 2015 , ' Habitat effects on the breeding performance of three forest-dwelling hawks ' , PLoS One , vol. 10 , no. 9 , e0137877 . https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0137877

Title: Habitat effects on the breeding performance of three forest-dwelling hawks
Author: Björklund, Heidi; Valkama, Jari; Tomppo, Erkki; Laaksonen, Toni
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Finnish Museum of Natural History
University of Helsinki, Finnish Museum of Natural History
Date: 2015-09-30
Language: eng
Number of pages: 19
Belongs to series: PLoS One
ISSN: 1932-6203
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/160551
Abstract: Habitat loss causes population declines, but the mechanisms are rarely known. In the European Boreal Zone, loss of old forest due to intensive forestry is suspected to cause declines in forest-dwelling raptors by reducing their breeding performance. We studied the boreal breeding habitat and habitat-associated breeding performance of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus). We combined long-term Finnish bird-of-prey data with multi-source national forest inventory data at various distances (100–4000 m) around the hawk nests. We found that breeding success of the goshawk was best explained by the habitat within a 2000-m radius around the nests; breeding was more successful with increasing proportions of old spruce forest and water, and decreasing proportions of young thinning forest. None of the habitat variables affected significantly the breeding success of the common buzzard or the honey buzzard, or the brood size of any of the species. The amount of old spruce forest decreased both around goshawk and common buzzard nests and throughout southern Finland in 1992–2010. In contrast, the area of young forest increased in southern Finland but not around hawk nests. We emphasize the importance of studying habitats at several spatial and temporal scales to determine the relevant species-specific scale and to detect environmental changes. Further effort is needed to reconcile the socioeconomic and ecological functions of forests and habitat requirements of old forest specialists.
Subject: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
bird-of-prey;Raptor;hawk;breeding habitat;breeding performance;breeding success;boreal;Forest;conifer;old forest;Forestry;habitat change;satellite image;multi-source national forest inventory;environmental change;Population decline;Scale;nest site;territory;landscape

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