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Possibilities for fire as a management tool on Kras (SW Slovenia): a bird's perspective

Maarten De Groot and Dejan Bordjan (2007) Possibilities for fire as a management tool on Kras (SW Slovenia): a bird's perspective. Acrocephalus : glasilo Društva za opazovanje in proučevanje ptic Slovenije (132). pp. 3-15. ISSN 0351-2851

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    The response of birds to wildfires in sub-Mediterranean areas and the possibleuse of fire as a nature management tool in Kras (SW Slovenia) is reviewed. In recent years the limestone region called Kras was forested with Austrian Pine Pinus nigrd and became more and more overgrown by bushes and trees due to depopulation and land abandonment, which has made it more vulnerable to fire. The latter patterns in particular are occurring throughoutthe whole subMediterranean area and are affecting bird diversity drastically. Bird mortality during fires is low. For the first few years aftera fire the richness and abundance of bird species decrease, and the species composition turnover rate is very high, from open habitat species to scrubland species. However, birds will colonise the burned area only when there is a neighbouring source population. In addition, larger burned areas are colonised more quickly than smaller ones. It is assumed that many birds will emigrate, while a number of species will adapt their territory size, nesting and foraging behaviour to the changed habitat. The severity of the habitat alteration and the change in food availability affect bird population dynamics. Bird species composition changes in parallel with vegetation succession. The effects of different aspects of fire, such as the size of the burned area, fire intensity, fire frequency and burning season, are reviewed. There are still many gaps in our knowledge of bird responses to fire, such as bird emigration after fires. However the impact of fire on birds is apparentlynot always detrimental and can even have a positive effect on populations. We therefore emphasize the importance of the continuation of research into the possibilities of fire as a management tool.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: birds, Aves, Karst, Slovenia, wildfire, prescribed fire, population dynamics
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=SEARCH&base=COBIB&select=ID= 23535065
    Divisions: National Institute of Biology > Department of Freshwater and Terrestrial Ecosystems Research
    Slovenian Forestry Institute > Department of Forest Protection
    Item ID: 1234
    Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2015 09:07
    Last Modified: 26 Mar 2015 09:07
    URI: http://eprints.gozdis.si/id/eprint/1234

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