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Habitat and territory segregation within Sylviine warblers of the Flemish coastal dunes
Bonte, D.; Provoost, S.; Hoffmann, M. (2001). Habitat and territory segregation within Sylviine warblers of the Flemish coastal dunes. Belg. J. Zool. 131(Suppl. 2): 49-57
In: Belgian Journal of Zoology. Koninklijke Belgische Vereniging voor Dierkunde = Société royale zoologique de Belgique: Gent. ISSN 0777-6276; e-ISSN 2295-0451, more
Also appears in:
Schockaert, E.R. (Ed.) (2001). Proceedings of the 8th Benelux congress of zoology, Brussels, 24-25 November 2000. Belgian Journal of Zoology, 131(Suppl. 2). Koninklijke Belgische Vereniging voor Dierkunde = Société royale zoologique de Belgique: Brussel. 126 pp., more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Information systems > GIS
    Acrocephalus J. A. Naumann & J. F. Naumann, 1811 [WoRMS]; Locustella; Phylloscopus Boie, 1826 [WoRMS]; Sylvia Scopoli, 1769 [WoRMS]
    ANE, Belgium, Belgian Coast [Marine Regions]; Belgium, Flanders [Marine Regions]
Author keywords
    Acrocephalus, Locustella, Phylloscopus, Sylvia, interspecific interactions, habitat characteristics, vegetation, discriminant function analysis, Geographic Information System

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    Sylviine warblers are abundant breeding birds in the Flemish coastal dunes. Although their habitat preferences are clearly different, habitat overlap can occur. Their habitat preferences can largely be explained by the overall territory-specific vegetation structure (all components included in the discriminant analysis). The transition from woodland to scrubs and from scrubland to short grasslands explains 92% of the total variance within the species’ habitat characteristics. Species of the different genera (Sylvia, Phylloscopus, Acrocephalus, Locustella) show a large amount of habitat overlap. Within the Phylloscopus and Sylvia-genus, only the Lesser Whitethroat S. curruca and the Whitethroat S. communis use the same breeding habitat. Although the other congeneric species show distinct habitat characteristics, a priori classification cannot predict territory occupancy without errors: only 78.3% of the two Phylloscopus-territories and 58.3% of the Sylvia-territories were correctly classified. This indicates a certain amount of territory settlement in non-typical habitats, where competition can occur between sister species.All possible interactions between congenerics were studied by comparing the expected (based on the total ofwrong classifications in the typical habitat of the other) and the observed coexistence. The number of wrongclassifications could only be explained by real coexistence in the species pair S. borin-S. curruca. Interactionsbetween all other congeneric species pairs were asymmetrical, resulting in distinct territory occupancy withone dominant species. S. borin was always the dominant species, whereas S. communis was never dominant within the possible interactions. In general, species typical for higher vegetation were dominant (with theexception of the species pair S. atricapilla-S. borin). Direct and song aggressiveness are probably the drivingforces for the observed territory segregation. Our results confirm and supplement the findings of CODY (1978),who studied similar habitat and territory segregation in Sylviine Warblers in England, Southern Sweden andSardinia.

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