European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 315–323

Temporal variation in nest predation risk along habitat edges between grassland and secondary forest in Central Europe

  • Jana Svobodová
  • Martina Koubová
  • Ladislav Mrštný
  • Tomáš Albrecht
  • Jakub Kreisinger
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10344-011-0582-2

Cite this article as:
Svobodová, J., Koubová, M., Mrštný, L. et al. Eur J Wildl Res (2012) 58: 315. doi:10.1007/s10344-011-0582-2

Abstract

Habitat fragmentation alters many ecological processes, including trophic cascades. For example, increased predation pressure along habitat edges has often been observed in fragmented landscapes. Here, we studied how nest predation risk varies along the transition zone between grassland and mixed forest in Central Europe. Using artificial nests, we tested the two mechanisms that are expected to underlie higher predation rates along edges: (1) the matrix effect model that supposes predator penetration from a habitat type with higher predator density to one with lower predator density and (2) the ecotonal effect model that assumes specific predator preferences for habitat edges. Although our results do not fully support either of these scenarios, our data show high temporal instability in nest predation along forest–grassland edges. Predation was higher in habitat interiors compared to edges during the first year, whereas the opposite pattern was observed during the subsequent year. In addition, dramatic between-year differences in the species composition of nest predators were observed. Therefore, we hypothesise that the effect of edges on nest predation is difficult to predict in landscapes with high predator diversity. In addition, our data indicate that a high abundance of wild boar considerably increases the risk of predation for ground-nesting birds.

Keywords

Ecotonal effect Edge effect Habitat fragmentation Matrix effect Wild boar 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jana Svobodová
    • 1
  • Martina Koubová
    • 1
  • Ladislav Mrštný
    • 1
  • Tomáš Albrecht
    • 2
  • Jakub Kreisinger
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Ecology, Faculty of Environmental ScienceCzech University of Life Sciences PraguePrague 6Czech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Zoology, Faculty of ScienceCharles University in PraguePrague 2Czech Republic

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