Interspecific foraging substrate preferences among flycatchers in a primeval mixed forest (Šrámková National Nature Reserve)
AbstractThe study had two main objectives: (1) to analyze interspecific differences in foraging substrate utilization, foraging strategies, niche breadth, and niche overlap among the five flycatchers, and (2) to test the association between species foraging patterns on trees and the study site tree structure. The study was conducted in a primeval beech-fir forest in the Sramkova National Nature Reserve, the Mala Fatra Mts., in the years 1997-2000. Species specific resource use patterns indicated their position on generalist-specialist gradient. D. urbica and M. striata showed lower values of niche breadth, but higher values of nice overlap. Foraging patterns of E. rubecula and F. parva indicated rather opportunistic use of foraging substrates. Their niche breadth reached the highest values, whereas niche overlap was generally lower in comparison to airspace specialists. Niche breadth and overlap values for F. albicollis tend to have more or less medium values giving this species a position somewhere between the two groups. Resource partitioning was also well distinguished by foraging height. All species showed considerable opportunism in feeding on tree species. None of the two most dominant tree species was significantly preferred. Acer pseudoplatanus was the most selected foraging substrate. This may be result of its relatively large leaf area, thus supporting higher numbers of insects.
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