Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 30/3-4 | 1993 | 173-180

  Forest evolution and tendancies for the Hazel Grouse (Bonasa bonasia) in the Belgian Ardenne Region.
Ledant, J.-P.

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Within the framework of research to preserve the Hazel Grouse, it bas been found that this species concentrates in hazel-rich oakwoods, and that this is new, or recently reinforced. The Hazel Grouse was probably to be found in all types of copse when these were regularly exploited, and shortly afterwards. Later, hazel replaced the former regrowth from coppicing, wherever soil fertility and exposure permitted. Thus Hazel Grouse numbers have fallen, on the one hand, because the soil is too poor for hazel, and on the other, because on the richer soils of the hornbeam oakwoods, the hornbeam has formed a dense cover. The fewer and degrated copses inhabited by the Hazel Grouse are, to all extents and purposes, the result of the industrial revolution, when wood ceased to be a prime source of energy and fertilizer. Even the hazel oakwoods where the Hazel Grouse persists, resulting from the former practise of coppicing, now appear likely to disappear. Measures proposed consist of a network of habitats within S.S.S.I.'s including edaphic forests, even copses actively worked for a transition period, and hazel oakwoods, managed as open woodland which implies particular efforts in terms of regeneration.