In Poland, forests comprise 31% of the total surface area, while the lowland coniferous forests comprise 51% of 94 000 km2 afforested areas. The line transect method was employed in 2002 and 2004 to estimate population densities and dominance of all bird species breeding in a selected fragment of such forest (eight transects with 165 sections and 77.7 km in total length). In total, 54 breeding bird species were recorded. The numbers varied between 37 and 44 on the particular transect. The number of breeding pairs per 10 ha varied on each transect from 41.0 to 93.6 (x=64.8; SD=102.22). Shannon’s diversity index varied between 1.2 and 1.4 on particular transects, while Simpson’s diversity index varied between 0.7 and 0.9. Also Pieleau’s evenness index varied slightly between 0.05 and 0.07. In overall, the differences between densities of breeding species on 8 transects were not statistically significant. The Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs was by far the most numerous bird species, recorded as eudominant in all eight transects and present in all 165 sections. The second to the Chaffinch was the Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita; also recorded in all sections and as a dominant in all transects. Three other species, namely the Blackbird Turdus merula, Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus and Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla were recorded each one in more than 90% sections (N=165), and on particular transects their dominance varied between 4 and 11%. Residents comprised 57.5% of all breeding pairs. Short-distance migrants were almost twice more common than long-distance migrants. Insectivores were by far the most numerous feeding guild represented 88.9% of all breeding pairs. Overall density, cumulative dominance, diversity and evenness were unexpectedly very similar in this study (managed forest) and in natural primeval lowland coniferous forests of Białowieża.
There is a lack of data on the population densities of birds breeding in a mosaic of typical urbanized habitats. This study was undertaken to partly fulfil this gap in our knowledge. Counts were conducted in 2008 by means of simplified territory mapping method in a fragment (1197 ha) of a large Central European city (Wrocław, SW Poland). In total, 50 bird species were breeding in the study area in 2008. The House Sparrow Passer domesticus, Common Swift Apus apus and Rock Dove comprised about 3/5 of all breeding pairs. The other group of species, each one with a density between 6 and 13 pairs per 100 ha, included seven species, namely the Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, Greenfinch, Carduelis chloris, House Martin, Delichon urbica, Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus, Great Tit, Parus major, Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus, and Jackdaw, Corvus monedula. They comprised together about 1/5. The remaining 40 species nested in a density between 0.1 and 3.5 pairs per 100 ha. The most numerous feeding guild were granivores (53.8%) and insectivores (37.9 %). Birds nesting on buildings comprised together 74 % of all breeding pairs. For a few species (Luscinia megarhynchos, Saxicola torquata, Corvus cornix and Turdus pilaris) an increase in their numbers in the last three decades has been evidenced.
Month-to-month changes in avian assembages are considerable in forest habitats. In this study such changes were studied by means of the line transect method (eight transect with total length of 77.7 km) in lowland coniferous forest in SW Poland (dominant forest type in Central European Plain), in three consecutive spring months: April, May and June. Shannon’s diversity index varied between 1.31 and 2.25 in particular month, while Simpson’s diversity index and Pielou’s evenness index were almost identical everywhere: H′ = 0.92-0.93 and J′ = 0.74-0.78, respectively. In overall, the differences in mean densities of breeding species between three months on all transects pooled were not statistically significant, as were also not statistically significant such differences on particular transects. Month-to-month variations in densities in all transects pooled were statistically significant in the case of 26 out of 54 species (48.1 %). Month-to-month changes in population densities recorded on transects, only partly conform to the arrival patterns. Two counts, instead of three, would sufficed for precise estimation of bird population densities in Central European lowland pine forests: one count should be conducted in April, to register mainly resident species, and the second one in May to count mainly the migrant species.
Studies were conducted by means of the Line Transect Method in late rainy season (March), in the middle of dry season (July) and at beginning of rainy season (November).Th e total length of all transects was c. 11 km. In total, 70 resident and 13 nonresidentspecies were recorded. Th e number of species in dry season was significantly lower than in rainy season (x2-test: 14.1; p < 0.01). Th e highly significant seasonal differences in abundance were recorded for the following species: Streptopelia senegalensis, Streptopelia capicola, Uraeginthus angolensis, Cisticola juncidis, Upupa africana, Cynniris mariquensis, and Numida meleagris. In overall, five species have been classified as dominants: Streptopelia senegalensis, Streptopelia capicola, Uraeginthus angolensis, Plocepasser mahali and Cypsiurus parvus. They comprised together 43.9 %. Significant variations in the dominance structure between the wet and dry season have been evidenced. Granivores were much more numerous in the dry than in the wet season, while for the insectivores the reverse was true. Although Sorensen Coefficient was much the same between all three seasons, the Shannon’s Diversity Index was lower in July than in March and November.
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