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Birds of hedgerows and other field boundaries

The Ecology of Hedgerows and Field Margins (pp.210 - 232)


In much of lowland Europe, hedgerows and other boundaries comprise a landscape-scale connectivity network as well as providing a major habitat resource for birds in the wider countryside. In general, birds prefer field boundaries that most resemble their natural habitats, and due to their volume and complexity, hedgerows and similar woody structures support the most birds. At both local and regional scales, heterogeneity of both hedge/boundary types and the wider landscape around them will increase bird diversity and abundance. Nodes in hedge networks, trees and adjoining habitats including agri-environment options and wet ditches are important positive factors. Bird numbers in hedges are also affected by farming systems (pastoral, arable), the availability of other habitats (woods, gardens etc.), seasonal changes, extreme weather and species national population sizes. ‘Typical’ bird abundance in ‘typical’ farmland hedges is discussed. Human activity and plant diseases are probably the current major threats to hedges, but whatever changes may occur in the future, protecting hedgerows and other field boundaries should be a high priority.

Author(s): Hinsley, S, Bellamy, PE

Journal: The Ecology of Hedgerows and Field Margins (pp.210 - 232)

Year: 2019


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