Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

An avifaunal zonation of Switzerland and its relation to environmental conditions

Buy Article:

$69.00 + tax (Refund Policy)


  •  We propose a quantitative zonation of Switzerland based on the distribution of breeding birds. We use a combined dataset from two nationwide bird censuses 20 years apart to account for distribution changes between the censuses. This approach approximates the ‘potential’ distribution of species more closely than a dataset from one period only.

  •  A numerical approach with correspondence analysis and non-hierarchical clustering resulted in five avifaunal regions, consisting of two lowland regions north of the alpine arch, two alpine regions and one region of southern alpine valleys.

  •  We identified characteristic species for each region using the indicator value analysis of DufrĂȘne & Legendre (1997) and determined environmental conditions separating the regions with discriminant analysis.

  •  Our zonation partly corresponds with previous subdivisions of Switzerland, but has the advantage of being based on a numerical approach instead of expert knowledge.

  •  We discuss avifaunal and ecological differences between the regions and relate our zonation to the classical biogeographic regions of Europe. Finally, we evaluate the importance of the zonation for bird conservation.
  • No References
    No Citations
    No Supplementary Data
    No Article Media
    No Metrics

    Keywords: Atlas data; IndVal; biogeography; breeding bird community; characteristic species; cumulative distribution; ordination; zonation

    Document Type: Research Article

    Affiliations: 1: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Department of Biology, Blacksburg, Virginia, 24061–0406, U.S.A. 2: Swiss Ornithological Institute, 6204 Sempach, Switzerland.

    Publication date: May 1, 2001

    • Access Key
    • Free content
    • Partial Free content
    • New content
    • Open access content
    • Partial Open access content
    • Subscribed content
    • Partial Subscribed content
    • Free trial content
    Cookie Policy
    Cookie Policy
    Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more