Ornis Hungarica. vol.24(1). (2016) p.81-95.
Nest site characteristics of the Great-spotted Woodpecker in a bottomland riparian forest in the presence of invasive tree species
This study was carried out in Hungary, in an old unmanaged riparian poplar-willow forest during the breeding seasons of 2014 and 2015. The occurrence of two invasive tree species, the green ash and boxelder, is significant in the study area, which influences negatively the populations of native riparian tree species in Central Europe. We studied Great-spotted Woodpecker nest sites in the presence of these invasive species. Throughout the study period, eight and twelve nesting cavity trees were mapped. Trees were recorded in 20-20 circular plots of 0.05 ha both for each mapped nest trees and random plots as well. Species, diameter at breast height and condition were recorded for each tree. Composition and diversity of nest site and random plots were compared. Distributions and preferences were calculated for nest tree use. Most of the recorded trees were invasive. Nest site plots had more native trees compared to random plots. Nest site showed higher diversity in terms of all three variables. Decayed and dead willow and white poplar hybrid trees were preferred for nesting. Diameter at breast height of nest trees was between 30–90 cm. Studies about cavity excavators in transformed habitats have high importance for nature conservation of riparian forests.