, Volume 166, Issue 2, pp 305–316

Bird species in Mediterranean pine plantations exhibit different characteristics to those in natural reforested woodlands

Population ecology - Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00442-010-1849-0

Cite this article as:
Galván, I. & Rey Benayas, J.M. Oecologia (2011) 166: 305. doi:10.1007/s00442-010-1849-0


Passive woodland regeneration following cropland abandonment and pine plantations are two major approaches for vegetation restoration in agricultural landscapes in the Mediterranean Basin. We compared the effects of these two contrasting approaches on local bird density in central Spain on the basis of species characteristics, including regional density, habitat breadth, life-history traits and plumage colouration. Local bird density increased with regional density and habitat breadth in both woodland and pine plantation plots following macroecological patterns of bird abundance and distribution. In woodlands, dichromatic species were more abundant than monochromatic species and bird density increased with the intensity of territory defense and as the proportion of plumage colour generated by pheomelanin decreased. Contrary to our prediction, this latter observation suggests that woodlands may induce higher levels of physiological stress in birds than pine plantations even though these represent a novel habitat change. In pine plantations, sedentary species were more abundant than migratory species and bird density was negatively related to body and egg mass. These traits of bird species in pine plantations are characteristic of successful invaders. The variation in bird density explained by phylogeny was twice as high in pine plantations as in woodlands, suggesting that pine plantations limit accessibility to some clades. Our results support, from an evolutionary perspective, the described inability of pine plantations on cropland to maintain or increase bird diversity in Mediterranean agricultural landscapes.


Habitat restorationLife historyPheomelaninPlumage colourationVegetation restoration

Supplementary material

442_2010_1849_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (71 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 70.8 kb)
442_2010_1849_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (13 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 12.7 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EcologyUniversidad de AlcaláAlcalá de HenaresSpain
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution, CNRS UMR 8079Université Paris-Sud 11Orsay CedexFrance