Advertisement

Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 158, Issue 2, pp 459–467 | Cite as

Seasonal changes in habitat selection by a strict forest specialist, the Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Leiopicus medius), at its southwestern boundary: implications for conservation

  • J. DomínguezEmail author
  • R. Carbonell
  • A. Ramírez
Original Article

Abstract

The Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Leiopicus medius) is a strict forest bird whose habitat preferences during the breeding season are well known. However, a lack of information about its habitat selection during the non-breeding season may hamper recommendations for the management and conservation of the species. Here we study habitat selection of this woodpecker at its southwestern boundary range (Izki Natural Park, northern Spain) during the non-breeding season (October–December) by means of a use–availability approach. We also examined seasonal differences in habitat use between the breeding season (April–May) and the non-breeding season. Results of ANOVA and backward-stepwise logistic regression revealed a clear selection of high forest cover, large Pyrenean oaks (Quercus pyrenaica), and presence of dead trees during the non-breeding season. Despite very similar habitat use in both seasons, minor but interesting differences between seasons were observed, with a potential expansion during the non-breeding season into less mature forests (lower forest cover and fewer large trees) with a greater abundance of dead trees. These differences may reflect seasonal changes in the spatial requirements of the species and a decrease in food abundance during autumn–winter. On the basis of these findings, we propose management measures to improve the conservation status of the species in the Iberian Peninsula.

Keywords

Middle Spotted Woodpecker Habitat selection Non-breeding season Mature oaks Quercus pyrenaica Dead trees 

Zusammenfassung

Jahreszeitliche Änderungen in der Habitatwahl bei einem ausgesprochenen Waldspezialisten, dem Mittelspecht ( Leiopicus medius ), an seiner südwestlichen Verbreitungsgrenze: Konsequenzen für seinen Schutz Der Mittelspecht (Leiopicus medius) ist ein reiner Waldvogel, dessen Habitatpräferenzen zur Brutzeit wohlbekannt sind. Allerdings könnte ein Mangel an Informationen über seine Habitatwahl außerhalb der Brutzeit Empfehlungen für Management und Schutz dieser Art erschweren. Hier erforschten wir die Habitatwahl dieser Spechtart an ihrer südwestlichen Verbreitungsgrenze (Izki Naturpark, Nordspanien) außerhalb der Brutzeit (Oktober-Dezember) mittels einer Nutzungs-Verfügbarkeits-Analyse. Außerdem untersuchten wir jahreszeitliche Unterschiede in der Habitatnutzung zwischen Brutzeit (April-Mai) und Nichtbrutzeit. Die Ergebnisse der Varianzanalyse (ANOVA) und der rückwärts gerichteten stufenweisen logistischen Regression ergaben eine deutliche Bevorzugung hoher Waldbedeckung, großer Pyrenäeneichen (Quercus pyrenaica) sowie des Vorhandenseins abgestorbener Bäume außerhalb der Brutsaison. Trotz sehr ähnlicher Habitatnutzung zu beiden Jahreszeiten, ließen sich kleine aber interessante Unterschiede zwischen den Jahreszeiten beobachten, so eine mögliche Ausbreitung in weniger alte Waldbestände (geringere Waldbedeckung und nicht so viele hohe Bäume) mit einer größeren Anzahl abgestorbener Bäume außerhalb der Brutzeit. Diese Unterschiede könnten jahreszeitliche Veränderungen in den räumlichen Ansprüchen der Art sowie ein sinkendes Nahrungsangebot zur Herbst- und Winterzeit widerspiegeln. Basierend auf diesen Ergebnissen schlagen wir Managementmaßnahmen zur Verbesserung des Schutzstatus der Art auf der Iberischen Halbinsel vor.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Consultora de Recursos Naturales S.L. for providing the opportunity to start this study. Alejandro Onrubia contributed with important advice on fieldwork design. The wardens of Izki Natural Park (Arantza Puente, Rosa Martínez, Raúl Arenas and Iñaki Martínez) helped with logistics during autumn–winter surveys, and Francisco Cervantes helped during spring surveys. The Diputación Foral de Álava provided the permissions to sample within the Natural Park. Carlos Ciudad suggested interesting ideas that significantly improved the manuscript. Allison Perry helped with the English. Two anonymous referees considerably improved an early version of the manuscript. Thanks to you all.

References

  1. Bibby CJ, Burgess ND, Hill DA, Mustoe S (2000) Bird census techniques, 2nd edn. Academic, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Carbonell R, Pérez-Tris J, Tellería JL (2003) Effects of habitat heterogeneity and local adaptation on the body condition of a forest passerine at the edge of its distributional range. Biol J Linnean Soc 78:479-488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carrascal LM, Tellería JL (1989) Comportamiento de búsqueda del alimento y selección de especies arbóreas: análisis con el Agateador Común (Certhia brachydactyla) durante el invierno. Ardeola 36:149–160Google Scholar
  4. Channell R, Lomolino MV (2000) Trajectories to extinction: spatial dynamics of the contraction of geographical ranges. J Biogeogr 27:169–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ciudad C, Robles H (2013) Inventario y caracterización ecológica de la población de pico mediano en la ZEPA de Izki (Álava). Diputación Foral de Álava-Corporación del Gobierno Vasco para el desarrollo del medio rural y marino. Technical reportGoogle Scholar
  6. Ciudad C, Robles H, Matthysen E (2009) Postfledging habitat selection of juvenile middle spotted woodpeckers: a multi-scale approach. Ecography 32:676–682CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crandall KA, Bininda-Emonds ORP, Mace GM, Wayne RK (2000) Considering evolutionary processes in conservation biology. Trends Ecol Evol 15:290–295CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Del Hoyo J, Elliot A, Sargatal J (2002) Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 7: Jacamars to Woodpeckers. BirdLife International/Lynx Edicions, BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
  9. Domínguez J (2010) Pico mediano–Dendrocopos medius. In: Salvador A, Bautista LM (eds.) Enciclopedia Virtual de los Vertebrados Españoles, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid. http://www.vertebradosibericos.org. Accessed 9 Feb 2016
  10. Grove S (2002) Saproxylic insect ecology and the sustainable management of forests. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 33:1–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Holmes RT (1990) The structure of temperate deciduous forest bird community: variability in time and space. In: Keast A (ed) Biogeography and ecology of forest bird communities. SPB, The Hague, pp 121–139Google Scholar
  12. Holmes RT, Sherry TW, Sturges FW (1986) Bird community dynamics in a temperate deciduous forest: long-term trends at Hubbard Brook. Ecol Monogr 56:201–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jabin M, Mohr D, Kappes H, Topp W (2004) Influence of deadwood on density of soil macro-arthropods in a managed oak–beech forest. For Ecol Manage 194:61–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kosiński Z, Kempa M (2007) Density, distribution and nest-sites of woodpeckers Picidae in a managed forest of Western Poland. Pol J Ecol 55:519–533Google Scholar
  15. Kosiński Z, Winiecki A (2004) Nest-site selection and niche partitioning among the Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major and Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius in riverine forest of Central Europe. Ornis Fennica 81:145–156Google Scholar
  16. Kosiński Z, Kempa M, Hybsz R (2004) Accuracy and efficiency of different techniques for censusing territorial Middle Spotted Woodpeckers Dendrocopos medius. Acta Ornithol 39:29–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kumar R, Singh P (2010) Determining woodpecker diversity in the sub-Himalayan forests of northern India using call playbacks. J Field Ornithol 81(2):215–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lesica P, Allendorf FW (1995) When are peripheral populations valuable for conservation? Conserv Biol 9:753–760CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Llimona F, Matheu E, Roché J (1995) Guía Sonora de las Aves de España. Alosa, BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
  20. Loidi J, Biurrun I, Campos JA, García-Mijangos I, Herrera M (2011) La vegetación de la Comunidad Autónoma del País Vasco. Leyenda del mapa de series de vegetación a escala 1:50.000. Ed. Universidad del País VascoGoogle Scholar
  21. Lovaty F (2002) Les densités remarquables du pic mar Dendrocopos medius dans les futaies de chênes âgés de I’allier (France): un effet des altérations anthropiques de la forêt. Alauda 70:311–322Google Scholar
  22. Moritz C (1994) Defining evolutionarily significant units for conservation. Trends Ecol Evol 9:373–375CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Newton I (1998) Population limitation in birds. Academic, LondonGoogle Scholar
  24. Niemelä JK (1997) Invertebrates and boreal forest management. Conserv Biol 11:601–610CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Onrubia A (2012) Pico mediano Dendrocopos medius. In: SEO/BirdLife, Atlas de las Aves en Invierno en España 2007–2010, Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente-SEO/BirdLife, Madrid, pp 358–359Google Scholar
  26. Onrubia A, Robles H, Salas M, González-Quirós P, Olea PP (2003) Pico Mediano, Dendrocopos medius. In: Martí R, del Moral JC (eds) Atlas de las Aves Reproductoras de España, Dirección General de Conservación de la Naturaleza, Sociedad Española de Ornitología, Madrid, pp 358–359Google Scholar
  27. Onrubia A, Robles H, Salas M, González-Quirós P, Olea PP (2004) Pico Mediano, Dendrocopos medius. In: Madroño A, González C, Atienza JC (eds) Libro Rojo de las Aves de España, Dirección General para la Biodiversidad-SEO/BirdLife, Madrid, pp 304–307Google Scholar
  28. Pasinelli G (2000) Oaks (Quercus sp.) and only oaks? Relations between habitat structure and home range size of the middle spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius). Biol Conserv 93:227–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pasinelli G (2003) Dendrocopos medius Middle Spotted Woodpecker. BWP Update 5:49–99Google Scholar
  30. Pasinelli G (2007) Nest site selection in middle and great spotted woodpeckers Dendrocopos medius & D. major: implications for forest management and conservation. Biodivers Conserv 16:1283–1298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pasinelli G, Hegelbach J (1997) Characteristics of trees preferred by foraging middle spotted woodpecker Dendrocopos medius in northern Switzerland. Ardea 85:203–209Google Scholar
  32. Pasinelli G, Hegelbach J, Reyer H (2001) Spacing behavior of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker in Central Europe. J Wildlife Manage 65:432–441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pérez-Tris J, Carbonell R, de la Hera I, Ramírez A, Tellería JL (2015) Conservación de poblaciones singulares ante el cambio climático: el caso de las currucas capirotadas ibéricas. In: Herrero A, Zavala MA (eds) Los Bosques y la Biodiversidad frente al Cambio Climático: Impactos, Vulnerabilidad y Adaptación en España, Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente, Madrid, pp 163–170Google Scholar
  34. Pettersson B (1983) Foraging behaviour of the middle spotted woodpecker Dendropocos medius in Sweden. Holarct Ecol 6:263–269Google Scholar
  35. Quinn GP, Keough MJ (2002) Experimental design and data analysis for biologists. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ranius T, Jansson N (2000) The influence of forest regrowth, original canopy cover and tree size on saproxylic beetles associated with old oaks. Biol Conserv 95:85–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Resources Inventory Committee (1999) Inventory methods for woodpeckers. Standards for Components of British Columbia’s Biodiversity No.19. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, VictoriaGoogle Scholar
  38. Robles H, Olea PP (2003) Distribution and abundance of Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius in a Southern population of the Cantabrian mountains. Ardeola 50:275–280Google Scholar
  39. Robles H, Ciudad C, Vera R, Baglione V (2007a) No effect of habitat fragmentation on post-fledging, first-year and adult survival in the middle spotted woodpecker. Ecography 30:685–694CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Robles H, Ciudad C, Vera R, Olea PP, Purroy FJ, Matthysen E (2007b) Sylvopastoral management and conservation of the middle spotted woodpecker at the south-western edge of its distribution range. For Ecol Manage 242:343–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Romero JL, Lammertink M, Cañestro JP (2013) Population increase and habitat use of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius in the Aran Valley, Spanish Pyrenees. Ardeola 60:345–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schiegg K (2000) Effects of dead wood volume and connectivity on saproxylic insect species diversity. Ecoscience 7:290–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Spühler L, Krüsi BO, Pasinelli G (2015) Do Oaks Quercus spp., dead wood and fruiting Common Ivy Hedera helix affect habitat selection of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius? Bird Study 62:115–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Vasco Gobierno (2000) Decreto 200/2000, de 10 de octubre, por el que se aprueba la parte normativa del Plan Rector de Uso Gestión del Parque Natural de Izki y se ordena su publicación íntegra. Boletín Oficial del País Vasco 210:19449–19529Google Scholar
  45. Weggler M, BühlMann J, Ayé R, Müller M, Müller W, SchWarzen-Bach Y, Pasinelli G (2013) Strong increase of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius population in the canton Zurich and consequences for conservation measures. Ornithol Beob 110:93–112Google Scholar
  46. Wiens JA (1989) The ecology of bird communities. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Zoología y Antropología Física, Facultad de Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations