, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 215–229 | Cite as

Does the invasion of Northern Red Oak Quercus rubra in parkland influence the diversity of birds?

  • Emilia GrzędzickaEmail author
  • Katarzyna Kowalik
  • Barbara Bacler-ŻZbikowska
Section Zoology


Invasive plants are non-native, but in most cases naturalised, species that have successfully spread outside of their native range. Aliens invaded all habitats, are competing with native plants, thus, after the direct destruction of habitats, invasions are recognised as the second largest danger for biodiversity. Northern Red Oak is one of the most common invasive tree species dispersed primarily by birds, but new studies have shown that it is also spread continuously in a forest stand. The main aim of our research was to check how strong is the invasion of Northern Red Oak in Silesia Park, where it was introduced together with other alien plant species, and how this invasion interacts with bird diversity. Silesia Park was created 65 years ago on the surface largely ravaged by coal industry. Because many studies indicate birds as vectors of alien plants invasion, we examined the bird fauna in a described area, looking for species that can contribute to spreading oaks. Research showed the diversity of 50 bird species. Surface with a presence of Northern Red Oak was characterised by greater participation of alien plant species than the patch of natural forest, which existed there long before the park creation. The greatest bird diversity was found in the most natural part of Silesia Park, and the lowest in the area of invasion, especially in the case of species classified as “forest birds”. The presence of alien plants increased number of “non-forest” birds, mostly synanthropic species. We also found that Northern Red Oak spreads by spontaneous seed dispersal.

Key words

Silesia Park coal industry alien plants invasion nature conservation biodiversity 


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Copyright information

© Slovak Academy of Sciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilia Grzędzicka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katarzyna Kowalik
    • 2
  • Barbara Bacler-ŻZbikowska
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Nature ConservationPolish Academy of SciencesKrakówPoland
  2. 2.Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, School of Pharmacy with Division of Laboratory Medicine in SosnowiecMedical University of SilesiaSosnowiecPoland

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