Biodiversity Science ›› 2010, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (4): 383-389.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.383

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Effects of habitat fragmentation on the use of nest site resources by great tits in Thousand Island Lake, Zhejiang Province

Meng Zhang1; Jiji Sun1; Yanping Wang1; Pingping Jiang1; Ping Ding1*; Gaofu Xu2   

  1. 1 College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, the Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Endangered Wildlife of the Ministry of Education, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058

    2 Xin’an River Development Corporation, Chun’an county, Zhejiang 311700
  • Received:2010-05-05 Online:2010-07-20
  • Ping Ding

To investigate the effects of habitat fragmentation on the use of nest site resources by a secondary cavity-nesting bird species, the great tit (Parus major), we placed 443 artificial nest boxes on 21 islands in Thousand Island Lake from February to August 2008. Among the nest boxes 72 (16.3%) were used by great tits. We analyzed the relationships between island area, island isolation, predator activity, vegetation cover and nest box orientation and the use of nest boxes by great tits. Great tits preferred nest boxes with lower predator activity, lower vegetation cover, and an eastern or southern orientation. Island area and isolation did not affect the use of nest boxes directly, but island area indirectly influenced the use of nest boxes by affecting predator activity. Our results suggest that attention should be paid to environmental variables that directly affect the use of nest site resources by great tits. Our study also highlights the importance of the indirect effects of habitat fragmentation on the use of nest site resources by great tits.

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