Bollmann, K., A. Friedrich, B. Fritsche, R. F. Graf, S. Imhof & P. Weibel
(* = Kurzbeitrag)
Kleinräumige Habitatnutzung des Auerhuhns Tetrao urogallus im Alpenraum.
(von 1994 bis 2006 vergeben)
Lebensraum, Habitatwahl, Waldstruktur, Vegetation, Sukzession, Forstwirtschaft, Artenschutz
Schweiz, Zentralalpen, Voralpen, St. Gallen, Appenzell, Schwägalp, Amden, Graubünden, Albulatal
Small-scale habitat use of Western Capercaillie in the Alps. The Western Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus occupies a broad fundamental ecological niche as long as some criteria are fulfilled regarding structural characteristics of forest stands. We studied these characteristics at the small scale in forest ecosystems that differed in landscape characteristics, tree species composition and ground vegetation. The studies were performed in the Prealps and Central Alps of Switzerland, respectively. Forest stand characteristics were assessed with a set of variables that describe the composition and structure of tree, shrub and ground vegetation and the number and type of forest gaps and edge elements. Logistic regression was used to compare study plots of used areas versus available habitat for Capercaillie in winter and/or summer. Intermediate canopy cover in combination with a good abundance of forest aisles and a minimal amount of basal-branched single trees were the most important predictors of habitat choice of Capercaillie at the scale of a forest stand, independent of the study area. From the edge variables, free-standing, basal-branched trees of Norway spruce Picea abies were the preferred hiding elements for resting Capercaillie. The type and composition of ground vegetation showed distinct differences among the study areas. Surprisingly, the proportion of bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus cover was not a significant predictor in the analyses. We conclude that forestry has a major responsibility for the conservation of Capercaillie because forest measures have a significant effect on both, the structure and composition of forest stands.
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