Habitat selection by capercaillie in summer and autumn: Is bilberry important?

Habitat selection by capercaillie in summer and autumn: Is bilberry important? The use of habitat by female and male adult capercaillie Tetrao urogallus during summer and autumn was studied by comparing the distribution of radio locations of birds with the availability of habitat at forest stand, home range and landscape level in an area of the Bavarian Alps, Germany. Capercaillie preferred forests with structural features typical of their main distribution range, the boreal forest: they selected large patches of old forest with moderate canopy cover of about 50%, and a well developed field layer with high proportions of bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus . Hens selected both home ranges and sites within home ranges in old forest. Ranges selected by cocks did not differ from availability in the study area, but they preferred old forest within their ranges. The size of home ranges was negatively related to bilberry cover both in hens and cocks. The distribution of bilberry also determined habitat use by capercaillie at the landscape scale. The study demonstrated that bilberry is the major determinant of the selection of habitat by capercaillie in landscapes with sparse and fragmentary cover of ericaceous shrubs, such as central Europe. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oecologia Springer Journals

Habitat selection by capercaillie in summer and autumn: Is bilberry important?

Oecologia, Volume 95 (2) – Aug 1, 1993

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1993 by Springer-Verlag
Subject
Life Sciences; Ecology; Plant Sciences
ISSN
0029-8549
eISSN
1432-1939
DOI
10.1007/BF00323498
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The use of habitat by female and male adult capercaillie Tetrao urogallus during summer and autumn was studied by comparing the distribution of radio locations of birds with the availability of habitat at forest stand, home range and landscape level in an area of the Bavarian Alps, Germany. Capercaillie preferred forests with structural features typical of their main distribution range, the boreal forest: they selected large patches of old forest with moderate canopy cover of about 50%, and a well developed field layer with high proportions of bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus . Hens selected both home ranges and sites within home ranges in old forest. Ranges selected by cocks did not differ from availability in the study area, but they preferred old forest within their ranges. The size of home ranges was negatively related to bilberry cover both in hens and cocks. The distribution of bilberry also determined habitat use by capercaillie at the landscape scale. The study demonstrated that bilberry is the major determinant of the selection of habitat by capercaillie in landscapes with sparse and fragmentary cover of ericaceous shrubs, such as central Europe.

Journal

OecologiaSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 1, 1993

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