Edge, patch, and landscape effects on Parid distribution and movements
The fact that birds, despite their great vagility, are often absent from small or isolated patches of habitat has puzzled ecologists for decades. Landscape ecologists interested in birds generally focus on entire communities. As a result, there is a sizeable body of literature on relationships between Parids and edges, patches, and landscapes. While that literature is mainly based on species distribution data, it does provide useful background information that may help us understand challenges that Parids face when they move through landscapes. A cursory look at the Parid-versus-landscape literature shows that, although very similar in appearance and life history, Parids exhibit a great diversity of responses to the challenges posed by habitat pattern and isolation. This chapter uses meta-analysis to study Parid habitat use at three spatial scales — edges, patches, and landscapes. The focus then shifts to how landscape features, particularly the behavioural response of black-capped and boreal chickadees to gaps and forest corridors, influence interpatch dispersion and its potential for metapopulation dynamics.
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