Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Effect of fire on birds evaluated

Date:
June 30, 2010
Source:
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Summary:
Spanish researchers have assessed the impact of the burning of a scrubland area of broom on the birds of the Catalan Pyrenees. By analyzing a period of 50 years following the fire, the scientists found that the birds that recover most slowly are those that live in the high mountain areas. For many of them, this recovery takes more than one or two decades following the fire.

European mountains have experienced a decline in forestry, agricultural and livestock operations over the past 50 years, due to the exodus of rural populations and socioeconomic changes. These areas have become covered by scrubland. Burning has become a common tool used to regain the landscape of olden times and maintain grazing areas at altitudes of between 1,400 and 2,100 metres above sea level in the Pyrenees.

Related Articles


"Hundreds of hectares of scrubland of broom (Cytisus oromediterraneus) are burned each year, and these are an important habitat for conservation purposes in Europe, and one of the most heavily affected by this practice," says Pere Pons, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Girona (UdG).

The results of the study, published in the latest edition of the journal Animal Conservation, show that various species react differently to fire.

According to the Catalan scientist, the Dartford warbler (Sylvia undata) recovers more slowly at higher altitudes than lower ones. The skylark (Alauda arvensis), the woodlark (Lullula arborea), and the red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio), which are all threatened birds in Europe, return to maximum abundance between 10 and 19 years after fire.

However, by 20 years after burning, "the scrub starts to become closed, and the bird community becomes poorer in species and of less conservation interest," says Miguel Clavero, co-author of the study and also a scientist at the UdG and at the Forest Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC). The team also observed that the intensity of the fire is only "significant" in the first year after it has taken place.

Clavero said: "We need long-term biodiversity evaluations that will help to improve planning of the intervals between burning and the various methods used for clearing scrubland at different altitudes." For this reason, the researchers propose "scheduling low-intensity fires, because these have less immediate impacts on vegetation and fauna."

Abandonment of rural areas, a threat to biodiversity

Changes in land use and the abandonment of rural areas are leading factors in the global environmental change threatening the biodiversity upon which human beings depend. Mountains with a heterogeneous landscape containing large areas of cropland and grazing have in many European regions become a much more uniform landscape dominated by scrubland and woodland. The method used over the past two or three decades to recover these former landscapes has been officially-prescribed burning.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Pons, M. Clavero. Bird responses to fire severity and time since fire in managed mountain rangelands. Animal Conservation, 2009; 13 (3): 294 DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2009.00337.x

Cite This Page:

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Effect of fire on birds evaluated." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100630101018.htm>.
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. (2010, June 30). Effect of fire on birds evaluated. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100630101018.htm
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Effect of fire on birds evaluated." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100630101018.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Learn how to make a mixed green salad topped with a pan-seared camembert cheese in only a minute! Music: Courtesy of Audio Network. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) It looks like this 2-month-old Husky puppy and the family ferret are going to be the best of friends. Look at how much fun they&apos;re having together! Credit to &apos;Vira&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins