An experimental study of nest predation in adjacent deciduous, coniferous and successional habitats

  • Seitz L
  • Zegers D
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Abstract

Predation of quail eggs in artificial nests was measured to assess potential nesting success of songbirds in adjacent deciduous, coniferous, and successional habitats at three locations in York County, Pennsylvana(Usa). During the simulated 12-day incubation period, survivorship of nests in the successional habitats was greater than nest survivorship in the coniferous and deciduous habitats. Overall, survivorship of ground nests was greater than that of above ground nests. The Conewago location had lower predation than both Kain and Pinchot. This difference was primarily due to the low above ground nests predation in the deciduous and coniferous habitats at Conewago compared to that at both Kain and Pinchot. At all locations predations of ground nests in successional habitats was less than that of above ground nests. Level of predation did not correlate significantly with any of eight measures of habitat structure. Differences in predation among the three locations may be due to anthropogenic factors as well as other characteristics of the surrounding landscape.

Author-supplied keywords

  • artificial nests
  • egg predation
  • habitat fragmentation

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Authors

  • Linda C. Seitz

  • David a. Zegers

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