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Forest fragmentation relaxes natural nest predation in an Afromontane forest

Toon Spanhove (UGent) , Valérie Lehouck (UGent) , Pieter Boets (UGent) and Luc Lens (UGent)
(2009) Animal Conservation. 12(4). p.267-275
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Abstract
Nest predation is widely regarded as a major driver underlying the population dynamics of small forest birds. Following forest fragmentation and the subsequent invasion by species from non-forested landscape matrices, shifts in predator communities may increase nest predation near forest edges. However, effects of human-driven habitat change on nest predation have mainly been inferred from studies with artificial nests, despite being regarded as poor surrogates for natural ones. We studied variation in predation rates, and relationships with timing of breeding and characteristics of microhabitats and fragments, on natural white-starred robin Pogonocichla stellata nests during three consecutive breeding seasons (2004-2007) in a Kenyan fragmented cloud forest. More than 70% of all initiated nests were predated during each breeding season. Predation rates nearly quadrupled between the earliest and the latest nests within a single breeding season, increased with distance to the forest edge, and decreased with the edge-to-area ratio of forest fragments. These spatial relationships oppose the traditional perception of edge and fragmentation effects on nest predation, but are in line with results from artificial nest experiments in other East African forests. In case of inverse edge and fragmentation effects on nest predation, such as shown in this study, species that tolerate edges for breeding may be affected positively, rather than negatively, by forest fragmentation, while the opposite can be expected for species restricted to the forest interior. The possibility of inverse edge effects, and its conservation implications, should therefore be taken into account when drafting habitat restoration plans.

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Chicago
Spanhove, Toon, Valérie Lehouck, Pieter Boets, and Luc Lens. 2009. “Forest Fragmentation Relaxes Natural Nest Predation in an Afromontane Forest.” Animal Conservation 12 (4): 267–275.
APA
Spanhove, T., Lehouck, V., Boets, P., & Lens, L. (2009). Forest fragmentation relaxes natural nest predation in an Afromontane forest. Animal Conservation, 12(4), 267–275.
Vancouver
1.
Spanhove T, Lehouck V, Boets P, Lens L. Forest fragmentation relaxes natural nest predation in an Afromontane forest. Animal Conservation. 2009;12(4):267–75.
MLA
Spanhove, Toon, Valérie Lehouck, Pieter Boets, et al. “Forest Fragmentation Relaxes Natural Nest Predation in an Afromontane Forest.” Animal Conservation 12.4 (2009): 267–275. Print.
@article{771968,
  abstract     = {Nest predation is widely regarded as a major driver underlying the population dynamics of small forest birds. Following forest fragmentation and the subsequent invasion by species from non-forested landscape matrices, shifts in predator communities may increase nest predation near forest edges. However, effects of human-driven habitat change on nest predation have mainly been inferred from studies with artificial nests, despite being regarded as poor surrogates for natural ones. We studied variation in predation rates, and relationships with timing of breeding and characteristics of microhabitats and fragments, on natural white-starred robin Pogonocichla stellata nests during three consecutive breeding seasons (2004-2007) in a Kenyan fragmented cloud forest. More than 70\% of all initiated nests were predated during each breeding season. Predation rates nearly quadrupled between the earliest and the latest nests within a single breeding season, increased with distance to the forest edge, and decreased with the edge-to-area ratio of forest fragments. These spatial relationships oppose the traditional perception of edge and fragmentation effects on nest predation, but are in line with results from artificial nest experiments in other East African forests. In case of inverse edge and fragmentation effects on nest predation, such as shown in this study, species that tolerate edges for breeding may be affected positively, rather than negatively, by forest fragmentation, while the opposite can be expected for species restricted to the forest interior. The possibility of inverse edge effects, and its conservation implications, should therefore be taken into account when drafting habitat restoration plans.},
  author       = {Spanhove, Toon and Lehouck, Val{\'e}rie and Boets, Pieter and Lens, Luc},
  issn         = {1367-9430},
  journal      = {Animal Conservation},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {267--275},
  title        = {Forest fragmentation relaxes natural nest predation in an Afromontane forest},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-1795.2009.00249.x},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2009},
}

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