NatureScot Commissioned Report 456: Monitoring of moorland fringe biodiversity: the bird communities of the interface between conifer plantations and moorland in the Galloway Forest Park and their relationships with moorland fringe habitats
As part of a significant restructuring programme within the Galloway Forest Park areas of ‘moorland fringe’ at the interface between conifer plantations and open moorland are being created. This report describes a survey of birds in the fringe areas in winter 2008-09 and spring-summer 2009 and describes the relationships with recorded habitat variables. The importance of the bird communities is considered, as are implications for their sustainability. Some recommendations for further research, both ecological and applied forestry management are presented.
Shrub cover appeared to influence bird communities at different scales between winter and summer. Relationships between shrub cover in the fringe areas and on bird densities in neighbouring plantations and moorland were apparent. Different responses were shown by different species. Other habitat variables with relationships to bird species occurrence and abundance were ground cover and tree cover. There was considerable variation in the nature of these relationships between species with few common traits across all species and variables.
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