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Large fire initially reduces bird diversity in Poland's largest wetland biodiversity hotspot

Walesiak, Michal and Mikusinski, Grzegorz and Borowski, Zbigniew and Zmihorski, Michal (2022). Large fire initially reduces bird diversity in Poland's largest wetland biodiversity hotspot. Biodiversity and Conservation. 31 :3 , 1037-1056
[Research article]

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Abstract

Freshwater wetlands are widely recognized as biodiversity hotspots for many organisms, including birds. Climate change and the projected increased risk of wetland fires may pose a major threat to wetland biodiversity in the future. There is urgent need to assess short- and long-term effect of fires on avian biodiversity and to establish relevant management implications. We analysed the short-term (first 3 months after fire) effect of a large (5 500 ha) spring wildfire on the community of breeding marshland birds in the best-preserved Polish local wetland biodiversity hotspot: Biebrza Valley. We compared the avian community structure and abundance of certain species before and after the fire on the 18 permanent transects located in both burned and unburned habitats. Within first breeding season post fire, fire significantly reduced pooled abundance and species richness of the whole bird community. Three bird species of special conservation concern (including aquatic warbler) temporarily disappeared from burned areas, and the numbers of 11 other species declined. In contrast, only 3 species benefited from the fire, none of which depended on marshes as their primary habitat. Although the reported strong initial fire effect is likely to fade away in subsequent years, its immediate detrimental effects on marshland birds should not be underestimated. We conclude that it is essential to temporarily provide the unburned adjacent refuge areas with additional protection and bird-friendly management and to focus on preventing further degradation of marshes to increase their resilience to fire.

Authors/Creators:Walesiak, Michal and Mikusinski, Grzegorz and Borowski, Zbigniew and Zmihorski, Michal
Title:Large fire initially reduces bird diversity in Poland's largest wetland biodiversity hotspot
Series Name/Journal:Biodiversity and Conservation
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:31
Number:3
Page range:1037-1056
Number of Pages:20
Publisher:SPRINGER
ISSN:0960-3115
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:Wildfire, Marshlands, Avian biodiversity, Biebrza Valley, Disturbance, Aquatic warbler
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-116244
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-116244
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1007/s10531-022-02376-y
Web of Science (WoS)000756193300001
Scopus2-s2.0-85124914355
ID Code:27980
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology

(S) > School for Forest Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:23 May 2022 14:25
Metadata Last Modified:23 May 2022 14:31

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