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Response to clear-cut logging by northern waterthrushes

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We examined the distribution and foraging behaviour of northern waterthrushes (Seiurus noveboracensis) in recently harvested and intact landscapes of Newfoundland. Data were collected along six 1-km segments of stream and adjoining upland habitat resulting in four treatments (harvested or intact, upland or stream) with three replicates each. Although known as a riparian specialist, we found waterthrush territories equally distributed across intact upland and riparian habitats. However, few waterthrushes occupied harvested uplands, while large numbers packed into riparian buffer strips adjacent to these 5- to 10-year-old postharvest clearcuts. Arthropod abundance and biomass were highly variable between years and across the four treatments, generating significant year × treatment interaction effects. Riparian habitat (in both intact and harvested areas) had consistently greater numbers of arthropod prey and more biomass than either upland habitat type. Northern waterthrushes foraging in riparian habitat adjacent to harvested uplands had lower attack rates and more frequent long flights than waterthrushes foraging in the intact treatment types. Prolonged packing of individuals into riparian buffer strips, and apparent adverse affects on waterthrush foraging efficiency, raise concerns about the effectiveness of buffer strips for sustaining viable populations of terrestrial riparian habitat specialists.

Nous avons examiné la répartition et le comportement alimentaire de parulines des ruisseaux (Seiurus noveboracensis) dans des paysages récoltés récemment et des paysages intacts à Terre-Neuve. Des données ont été récoltées le long de six segments de 1 km d'habitats riverains de ruisseaux et d'habitats non riverains adjacents pour un total de trois répétitions de quatre traitements (récolté ou intact, riverain ou non riverain). Malgré que la paruline des ruisseaux soit reconnue comme spécialiste du milieu riverain, nous avons trouvé autant de territoires dans les habitats riverains et non riverains intacts. En revanche, peu de parulines ont occupé les habitats non riverains récoltés tandis qu'elles se sont entassées en grand nombre dans les lisières boisées riveraines adjacentes aux coupes à blanc vieilles de 5 à 10 ans. L'abondance et la biomasse d'arthropodes variaient beaucoup entre les années et les traitements, ce qui a donné des interactions significatives années × traitements. Le milieu riverain (dans les paysages intacts et récoltés) avait des nombres de proies (arthropodes) et des biomasses nettement plus élevés que le milieu non riverain. Les parulines des ruisseaux s'alimentant dans les habitats riverains adjacents à des coupes attaquaient moins souvent et faisaient plus de longs vols que celles s'alimentant dans les milieux riverains et non riverains intacts. L'entassement prolongé des individus dans les lisières boisées riveraines, de même que les effets adverses apparents sur l'efficacité d'alimentation des parulines, soulèvent des inquiétudes quant à la capacité des lisières boisées à maintenir des populations viables de spécialistes des habitats riverains terrestres.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-05-01

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