Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 45/1 | 2008 | 3-14

  Is the Wood Warbler an indicator species for the quality of Ardennes deciduous forest ?
Delahaye, L., & Vandevyvre, X.

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Article summary

The aim of this paper is to identify factors in the habitat influencing the regional distribution of the Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix) in the Ardennes and to define, for these factors, thresholds below which the presence of this species declines significantly in oak and beech forests. In this light, the presence or absence of the Wood Warbler was studied in Ardennes forests: 188 singing birs were found, of which 155 were considered to be defending territories. The habitat of the birds was determined with precision using 255 1ha study sites. Habitat selection by the Wood Warbler does not depend on the composition but rather on the structure and type of forest. The birds look for woods where the cover is high (>80 %) and where the shrub layer is sufficiently developed to offer perches without being so thick as to make movement under the canopy too difficult. This warbler, thus, lives in beech forests where bushes or natural regeneration are present. On the other hand, it is present in oak forests, or even birch forests, where the shrub layer is not too developed. This species is a good indicator of the vertical structure of Ardennes deciduous forests.

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