Modelling the Impacts of Habitat Changes on the Population Density of Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis) Based on Its Landscape Preferences | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
mars 2021
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
10.3390/land10030306
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Copyright details: 
© 2021 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

The dramatic decline of the abundance of farmland bird species can be related to the level of land-use intensity or the land-cover heterogeneity of rural landscapes. Our study area in central Europe (Hungary) included 3049 skylark observation points and their 600 m buffer zones. We used a very detailed map (20 × 20 m minimum mapping unit), the Hungarian Ecosystem Basemap, as a land-cover dataset for the calculation of three landscape indices: mean patch size (MPS), mean fractal dimension (MFRACT), and Shannon diversity index (SDI) to describe the landscape structure of the study areas. Generalized linear models were used to analyze the effect of land-cover types and landscape patterns on the abundance of the Eurasian skylark (Alauda arvensis). According to our findings, the proportions of arable land, open sand steppes, closed grassland patches, and shape complexity and size characteristics of these land cover patches have a positive effect on skylark abundance, while the SDI was negatively associated with the skylark population. On the basis of the used statistical model, the abundance density (individuals/km*) of skylarks could be estimated with 37.77% absolute percentage error and 2.12 mean absolute error. We predicted the skylark population density inside the Natura 2000 Special Protected Area of Hungary which is 0–6 individuals/km* and 23746 ± 8968 skylarks. The results can be implemented for the landscape management of rural landscapes, and the method used are adaptable for the density estimation of other farmland bird species in rural landscapes. According to our findings, inside the protected areas should increase the proportion, the average size and shape complexity of arable land, salt steppes and meadows, and closed grassland land cover patches.

Auteurs et éditeurs

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Csikós, Nándor
Szilassi, Péter

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