Skip to main content

A comparison on the response to forest fragmentation by medium-sized Iberian carnivores in central Spain

Abstract

We studied the use of forest fragments by five medium-sized carnivorespecies in 280 forest fragments on the two Iberian plateaus. We looked forindirect evidence (faeces, tracks, dens) of fragment use (occurrence) by thespecies and analysed whether occurrence could be related to four groups ofvariables: local (vegetation structure and patch size), landscape (distance topossible colonisation sources), regional (fragment location on the northern orsouthern plateau) and the vegetation type of the fragments. We analysed thedifferential response of species according to their life-history and behaviouraltraits. The relationship between use by each species and the factors studied wasanalysed using stepwise logistic regressions. Results indicate that threefactors are crucial to explain fragment use: fragment size, geographic locationand vegetation type. Large fragments are used more than smaller ones, thenorthern plateau is more suitable than the southern plateau, and holm oak andbroad-leaved oak forests are more used than pine woods. The effects andmagnitude varied slightly among species, depending on habitat requirements orlife-history traits. Data indicate that conservation strategies in fragmentedenvironments must take into account elements functioning at different spatialscales, and that it is essential to consider each case within a characteristicregional context.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Andrén H. 1994. Effects of habitat fragmentation on birds and mammals in landscapes with different proportions of suitable habitat: a review. Oikos 71: 355-366.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bender D.J., Contreras T.A. and Fahrig L. 1998. Habitat loss and population decline: a meta-analysis of the patch size effect. Ecology 79: 517-533.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown A.L. and Litvaitis J.A. 1995. Habitat fatures associated with predation of New England cottontails: what scale is appropiate? Canadian Journal of Zoology 73: 1005-1011.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cavallini P. 1994. Faces count as an index of fox abundance. Acta Theriologica 39: 417-424.

    Google Scholar 

  • Clevenger A.P. 1993. Sign surveys as an important tool in carnivore conservation research and management programmes. Seminar on the Management of Small Populations of Threatened Mammals. Council of Europe, Sofia, pp. 44-54.

  • Costa M., García M., Morla C. and Sanz H. 1995. La evolución de los bosques de la Península Ibérica: una interpretación basada en datos paleobiogeográficos. Ecología 1: 31-58.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cresswell P., Harris S., Bunce R.G.H. and Jefferies D. 1989. The badger, Meles meles in Britain: present status and future population changes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 38: 91-101.

    Google Scholar 

  • Delibes M. 1983. Distribution and ecology of the Iberian carnivores: a short review. XV Congreso Internacional de Fauna Cinegética y Silvestre, Trujillo, España, pp. 359-378.

  • Fahrig L. and Merriam G. 1994. Conservation of fragmented populations. Conservation Biology 8: 50-59.

    Google Scholar 

  • Font I. 1983. Climatología de España y Portugal. Instituto Nacional de Meteorología, Madrid.

    Google Scholar 

  • Freemark K.E. and Merriam G. 1986. Importance of area and habitat heterogeneity to bird assemblages in temperate forest fragments. Biological Conservation 36: 115-141.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gilpin M.E. and Hanski I. 1991. Metapopulation Dynamics: Empirical and Theoretical Investigations. Academic Press, London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hansen A.J., Garman S.L. and Marks B. 1993. An approach for managing vertebrate diversity across multiple-use landscapes. Ecological Applications 3: 481-496.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hosmer D.W. and Lemeshow S. 1989. Applied Logistic Regression. Wiley Interscience, Chichester, UK.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jaksic F.M. and Soriguer R.C. 1981. Predation upon the European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus in Mediterranean habitats of Chile and Spain: a comparative analysis. Journal of Animal Ecology 50: 269-281.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kotliar N.B. and Wiens J.A. 1990. Multiple scales of patchiness and patch structure: a hierarchical framework for the study of heterogeneity. Oikos 59: 253-260.

    Google Scholar 

  • Laurance W.F. 1991. Ecological correlates of extinction proneness in Australian tropical rain forest mammals. Conservation Biology 5: 79-88.

    Google Scholar 

  • Libois R. and Waechter A. 1991. La Fouine (Martes foina). In: Artois M. and Delattre P. (eds), Encyclopédie des carnivores de France BY. Societé Franc¸aise pour l'Etude et Protection des Mammifères, Bohallard, Puceul.

    Google Scholar 

  • Livet F. and Roeder J.-J. 1987. La genette (Genetta genetta). In: Artois M. and Delattre P. (eds), ´ Encyclopedie des carnivores de France BY. Societe Franc¸aise pour l'Etude et Protection des Mammifères, Bohallard, Puceul.

    Google Scholar 

  • Macdonald D.W., Bunce P.H. and Bacon P.J. 1981. Fox populations, habitat characterization and rabies control. Journal of Biogeography 8: 145-151.

    Google Scholar 

  • Manly B., McDonald L. and Thomas D. 1993. Resource Selection by Animals. Chapman & Hall, London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morrison M.L., Marcot B.G. and Mannan R.W. 1992. Wildlife Habitat Relationships. Concepts and Applications. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Neter J., Wasserman W. and Kutner M.H. 1985. Applied Linear Statistical Models. Richard D. Irwin, Homewood, Illinois.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oehler J.D. and Litvaitis J.A. 1996. The role of spatial scale in understanding responses of medium-sized carnivores to forest fragmentation. Canadian Journal of Zoology 74: 2070-2079.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oksanen L., Fretwell S.D., Arruda J. and Niemelä P. 1981. Exploitation ecosystems in gradients of primary productivity. American Naturalist 118: 240-261.

    Google Scholar 

  • Opdam P. 1991. Metapopulation theory and habitat fragmentation: a review of Holarctic breeding bird studies. Landscape Ecology 5: 93-106.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pimm S.L., Jones H.L. and Diamond J. 1988. On the risk of extinction. American Naturalist 122: 757-785.

    Google Scholar 

  • Roper T.J. 1993. Badger setts as a limiting resource. In: Hayden T.J. (ed.), The Badger BY. Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, pp. 26-34.

    Google Scholar 

  • Roper T.J. 1994. The European badger Meles meles: food specialist or generalist? Journal of Zoology, London 234: 437-452.

    Google Scholar 

  • Santos T. and Tellería J.L. 1998. Efectos de la fragmentación de los bosques sobre los vertebrados de las mesetas Ibericas. Organismo Autonomo de Parques Nacionales. Coleccion Tecnica, Madrid.

    Google Scholar 

  • Scheiner S.M. 1993. MANOVA: multiple response variables and multispecies interactions. In: Scheiner S.M. and Gurevitch J. (eds), Design and Analysis of Ecological Field Experiments. Chapman & Hall, London, pp. 94-112.

    Google Scholar 

  • Staender P.E. 1998. Spoor counts as indices of large carnivore populations: the relationship between spoor frequency, sampling effort and true density. Journal of Applied Ecology 35: 378-385.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stahl P. and Leger F. 1992. Le chat sauvage (elis silvestris). In: Artois M. and Maurin H. (eds), Encyclopedie des carnivores de France BY. Societe Franc¸aise pour l'Etude et la Protection des Mammiferes, Bohallard, Puceul.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tellería J.L. and Santos T. 1993. Distributional pattern of insectivorous passerines in the Iberian forests: does abundance decrease near the border? Journal of Biogeography 20: 235-240.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tellería J.L. and Virgos E. 1997. Distribution of an increasing roe deer population in a fragmented Mediterranean landscape. Ecography 20: 247-252.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tellería J.L., Santos T. and Alcantara M. 1991. Abundance and food searching intensity of wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) in fragmented forests. Journal of Mammalogy 72: 183-187.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tew T.E. and Macdonald D.W. 1993. The effects of harvest on arable wood mice, Apodemus sylvaticus. Biological Conservation 65: 279-283.

    Google Scholar 

  • Van Apeldoorn R.C., van Oostenbrink W.T., Winden A. and van der Zee F.F. 1992. Effects of habitat fragmentation on the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus in an agricultural landscape. Oikos 65: 265-274.

    Google Scholar 

  • Verboom J. and van Apeldoorn R. 1990. Effects of habitat fragmentation on the red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris. Landscape Ecology 4: 171-176.

    Google Scholar 

  • Virgos E. and Casanovas J.G. 1997. Habitat selection of genet Genetta genetta in the mountains of central Spain. Acta Theriologica 42: 169-177.

    Google Scholar 

  • Virgos E. and Casanovas J.G. 1998. Distribution patterns of the stone marten (Martes foina) in Mediterranean mountains of central Spain. Zeitschrift fur Saugetierkunde 63: 193-199.

    Google Scholar 

  • Virgos E. and Casanovas J.G. 1999. Environmental constraints at the edge of a species distribution, the Eurasian badger (Meles meles): a biogeographic approach. Journal of Biogeography 26: 559-564.

    Google Scholar 

  • Virgos E. and Tellería J.L. 1998. Habitat selection of the roe deer in Spain: constraints on a species distribution. Canadian Journal of Zoology 76: 1294-1299.

    Google Scholar 

  • Virgos E., Recio M.R. and Cortes Y. 2000. Stone marten (Martes foina) use of different landscape types in the mountains of central Spain. Zeitschrift fur Saugetierkunde 65: 375-379.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Virgós, E., Tellería, J.L. & Santos, T. A comparison on the response to forest fragmentation by medium-sized Iberian carnivores in central Spain. Biodiversity and Conservation 11, 1063–1079 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1015856703786

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1015856703786

  • Forest fragmentation
  • Geographic effects
  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Medium-sized carnivores
  • Spatial scale