Nocturnal noise and habitat homogeneity limit species richness of owls in an urban environment

Arkadiusz Fröhlich , Michał Ciach


Habitat loss and fragmentation are listed among the most significant effects of urbanization, which is regarded as an importantthreat to wildlife. Owls are the top predators in most terrestrial habitats, and their presence is a reliable indicator of ecosystemquality and complexity. However, influence of urbanization on owl communities, anthropogenic noise in particular, has not beeninvestigated so far. The aim of this study was to identify the role of noise and landcover heterogeneity in the species richness ofowl assemblage in the urban ecosystem. Owls were surveyed in the city of Kraków (southern Poland) on 65 randomly selectedsample plots (1 km2). The area of main landcover types, landcover diversity index, mean size of landcover patch, and nocturnalnoise level were defined within the sample plots and correlated with owl species richness. Five owl species were recorded in thestudy area with forests as the dominant landcover type for Tawny and Ural owls, grasslands for Long-eared and Barn owls, andgardens for Little owls. In total, 52% of sample plots were occupied by at least one species (1–3 species per plot). The number ofowl species was positively correlated with landcover diversity index and negatively correlated with nocturnal noise emission.This study demonstrates that species richness of owls in urban areas may be shaped by landcover heterogeneity and limited bynoise intensity. This indicates that noise changes top predator assemblage, which in consequence may disturb predator-preyinteractions within human-transformed habitats.
Author Arkadiusz Fröhlich (FoF / L-IBL)
Arkadiusz Fröhlich,,
- Institute of Forest Biodiversity
, Michał Ciach (FoF / IoEaS / DBL)
Michał Ciach,,
Journal seriesEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research, ISSN 0944-1344, e-ISSN 1614-7499, (N/A 70 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in EnglishUrban ecology, Acoustic predators, Traffic noise, Habitat diversity, Habitat homogenization, Strigiformes
ASJC Classification1107 Forestry
Languageen angielski
LicenseJournal (articles only); author's original; Uznanie Autorstwa - Użycie Niekomercyjne (CC-BY-NC); after publication
Nocturnal noise and habitat homogeneity limit species richness of owls in an urban environment of 23-07-2019
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Score (nominal)70
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.032; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 2.914 (2) - 2018=3.208 (5)
Citation count*2 (2020-04-10)
Additional fields
FinansowanieFinancial support for this study was provided by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education by statutory grant DS 3421. AF was supported by the Polish National Science Foundation grant “Etiuda” 2018/28/T/NZ8/00393 for the preparation of Ph.D. thesis. MC was supported by the Scholarship Fund of the Rector of the University of Agriculture in Kraków.
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