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Tytuł pozycji:

Historical changes in land use influence current habitat preferences of large herbivores.

Tytuł :
Historical changes in land use influence current habitat preferences of large herbivores.
Autorzy :
Perzanowski, Kajetan
Januszczak, Maciej
Łopucki, Rafał
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Temat :
LAND use
HABITAT selection
Źródło :
Landscape Ecology; Oct2019, Vol. 34 Issue 10, p2251-2259, 9p
Czasopismo naukowe
Context: Predicting habitat use patterns is a key issue in the management of large herbivore populations. Particularly, indicators providing a model of the spatial distribution of a population in a simple way, without the necessity of laborious field research, are still being sought. Analysis of historical landscape changes can be one of such predictive tools. Objectives: We tested the hypothesis that historical changes in land use can be used as an effective factor enabling prediction of spatial distribution. As a case study, data on habitat preferences of European bison Bison bonasus (wisents) were used. Methods: Spatial distribution of 17302 records of the presence of wisents, collected over the period of 10 years, was compared using contemporary and historical habitat maps for the Bieszczady Mts. (Poland). The area of approx. 87 thousand ha was selected, where the density of human population decreased over four times, and the percentage of forests increased from over 30% to almost 80% due to land abandonment. Results: Wisents were recorded significantly more frequently in parts of the forest that in the past were used for agriculture. We found that identification of parts of the forest overgrowing former cultivated fields makes it possible to predict the spatial distribution of wisent herds with very high probability. Conclusions: Information on historical changes in land use can be used as a simple and effective factor enabling prediction of habitat selection by wisents. Such an approach can potentially be useful for similar assessments of other large wild herbivores. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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