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Effects of supplemental winter feeding on House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) in relation to landscape structure and farming systems in southern Sweden

Author:
  • Maria von Post
  • Martin Stjernman
  • Henrik Smith
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 238-246
Publication/Series: Bird Study
Volume: 60
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: British Trust for Ornithology

Abstract english

CapsuleHouse Sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations in south Swedish farmland are not affected by supplemental winter feeding, irrespective of agricultural landscape type or presence of animal husbandry, although winter populations declined more in mixed farmland and when farms contained animal husbandry. AimsTo investigate whether food limitation of House Sparrow population size during the winter varied spatially in relation to agricultural landscape intensification and farm management. MethodsWe experimentally increased the winter food supply for populations on farmsteads in replicated landscapes that differed in agricultural intensification (open plains versus mixed farming) and/or farm management (crop farming versus animal husbandry), and estimated possible differences in effects on winter population change. ResultsWe found no effect of supplementary winter feeding on changes in House Sparrow population sizes over the winter, irrespective of agricultural landscape type or presence of animal husbandry at the farm. However, we found a significantly larger winter population decline in mixed farmland and when farms contained animal husbandry. ConclusionsThe results suggest that House Sparrow populations in south Swedish farmland are not primarily limited by winter food availability. Alternatively, supplemental winter feeding may augment interspecific competition or attracts predators, offsetting any positive effect on population change. However, the stronger population decline in landscapes in which more breeding resources may be available (animal husbandry farms, mixed farmland), suggests stronger intraspecific competition during the winter in line with the resource separation hypothesis.

Keywords

  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
  • Ecology

Other

Published
  • BECC
  • ISSN: 0006-3657
Henrik Smith
E-mail: henrik.smith [at] biol.lu.se

Professor

Biodiversity

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56

E-C313

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Director

Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56

C313

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

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Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden