Viability of meta-populations of wetland birds in a fragmented landscape: Testing the key-patch approach

J.E. Vermaat, N. Vigneau, N. Omtzigt

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    Abstract

    The key patch approach assumes that metapopulations in fragmented landscapes are likely to be viable with at least one "key" sub-population that is sufficiently large to ensure re-colonization of surrounding minor habitat patches. It is based on a minimum viable number of breeding pairs and within-breeding season dispersal distance, linked to size of the animal and longevity. It was tested using census data of 15 wetland bird species (bearded tit, bluethroat, great reed warbler, sedge warbler, Savi's warbler, grasshopper warbler, spotted crake, water rail, common snipe, common teal, garganey, little bittern, night heron, great bittern and marsh harrier) in 14 wetland complexes of variable size (3-55 km
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2263-2273
    Number of pages11
    JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
    Volume17
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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