Landscape changes are driven by several factors, such as habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation. Untangling the independent contribution of each process is crucial, since effective conservation actions depend on the clear identification of the threatening process. Nevertheless in most landscape scale studies configuration metrics are often grouped together without further distinguishing between different habitat properties (e.g. subdivision vs scatteredness of habitat patches) furthermore few landscape scale studies have included measurements of habitat quality thus possibly overlooking important interactions with landscape structure. In order to tackle these issues we carried out a large scale field study following an experimental design that allowed us to disentangle the independent role of landscape processes. We chose the European reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) as model species due to its ecological characteristics. Probability of the reed warbler presence increased in landscapes with increasing amounts of habitat and increased with the proportion of flooded reed bed patches in the landscape: variables related to the configuration of habitat, instead, did not play a relevant role in shaping distribution patterns. Results of the modelling inference revealed a crucial complementarity between habitat quality and landscape structure: regulation of the amount of water in the canals increased the habitat suitability of patches only for landscapes with intermediate amounts of habitat. (C) 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Effect of habitat amount, configuration and quality in fragmented landscapes

MORTELLITI, Alessio;
2012-01-01

Abstract

Landscape changes are driven by several factors, such as habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation. Untangling the independent contribution of each process is crucial, since effective conservation actions depend on the clear identification of the threatening process. Nevertheless in most landscape scale studies configuration metrics are often grouped together without further distinguishing between different habitat properties (e.g. subdivision vs scatteredness of habitat patches) furthermore few landscape scale studies have included measurements of habitat quality thus possibly overlooking important interactions with landscape structure. In order to tackle these issues we carried out a large scale field study following an experimental design that allowed us to disentangle the independent role of landscape processes. We chose the European reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) as model species due to its ecological characteristics. Probability of the reed warbler presence increased in landscapes with increasing amounts of habitat and increased with the proportion of flooded reed bed patches in the landscape: variables related to the configuration of habitat, instead, did not play a relevant role in shaping distribution patterns. Results of the modelling inference revealed a crucial complementarity between habitat quality and landscape structure: regulation of the amount of water in the canals increased the habitat suitability of patches only for landscapes with intermediate amounts of habitat. (C) 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
2012
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3031287
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