Background: Managed forests can become a seminatural habitat by allowing natural vegetation to establish under the tree canopy. The aim of this study was to examine how this natural understory vegetation in pine plantations affects bird community composition and diversity. We compared bird communities in three types of pine forest plantations that differed in the composition of their understory vegetation. Results: One thousand four hundred seventy-six birds of 33 species were observed in the three different forest habitats over two years. We found that the presence and composition of understory vegetation had a major role in determining bird community composition, richness, complexity and diversity. Conclusions: To ensure pine forest with high biodiversity in the eastern Mediterranean region, the understory needs to be rich in shrubs that are attractive to birds and other natural fauna.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Jewish National Fund (KKL, grant no. 60–05–095-14).
© The Author(s).
- Community composition
- Habitat structure
- Pine forest
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Nature and Landscape Conservation