Ornis Hungarica. vol.10. (2000) p.191-195.
Survival of artificial clutches in reedbed edges and interiors
The loss and fragmentation of habitats is the most serious problem of nature conservation. Habitat fragmentation has several important consequences, including the increasing proportion of edges where nest predation is often higher than in habitat interiors. Most of these studies were conducted in forested landscapes. To generalise this increased nest predation edge effect across habitats, we should test this hypothesis in non-forested habitats. We studied nest predation in a Swedish (Lake Hornborga) and two Hungarian (Lake Velence, Kis-Balaton) reedbeds, using artificial nests made of wire and lined with grass. These nests resembled Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) nests, and contained one quail egg and one small plasticine egg. During the two years of study (1998 and 1999) we placed out 260 nests to edge and interior reedbeds. The difference between predation rates in edge and interior reedbeds varied among areas, and showed no clear pattern. Predation rates in diferent interior habitats were similar, while in the edge habitats they are different. The generality of higher nest predation at habitat edges could not be proven.