Effects of landscape composition and native oak forest
configuration on cavity-nesting birds of North Africa
Ameliorating the effects of habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation upon biodiversity of oak forests in North Africa.
By Francesco Veronesi from Italy - Levaillant's Woodpecker - Oukaimeden Marocco 07_6526, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39083160
A major conservation concern in native oak forests of North Africa is poor natural regeneration or plantation of native tree species as a result of dryness of the soil and grazing pressure by wild animals and livestock.
However, strategic tree plantation to enhance forest may represent an opportunity to conserve forest species and this requires critical information on the response of forest specialists, such as woodpeckers, to landscape structure.
A study focused on the Kroumirie ecoregion of northwestern Tunisia, where habitat fragmentation and degradation drive landscape change and affect bird species living in native oak forests.
They quantified the relative effects of landscape composition and the configuration of mature oak forest on the occurrence of five species of cavity-nesting birds.
The results suggested ‘that high scrub matrix has the potential to mitigate the effects of forest loss for some species and lower the contrast between forest and low scrub.
High scrub does not appear to maintain the level of connectivity required by the most sensitive species (short-toed tree creeper and Atlas flycatcher) and, thus, landscape planning should account for those species whenever possible.’
Moez Touihri, Faouzia Charfia, Marc-André Villard. Effects of landscape composition and native oak forest configuration on cavity-nesting birds of North Africa. Forest Ecology and Management 385 (2017) 198–205. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2016.11.040
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Image rights Francesco Veronesi from Italy - Levaillant's Woodpecker - Oukaimeden Marocco 07_6526, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39083160