Effects of overhead power-lines on the density of groundnesting birds in open sub-arctic habitats

Pálsdottír, Aldís Erna, Gill, Jennifer A., Pálsson, Snæbjörn, Alves, José A., Méndez, Veronica, Þórisson, Böðvar and Gunnarsson, Tómas G. (2022) Effects of overhead power-lines on the density of groundnesting birds in open sub-arctic habitats. Ibis. ISSN 0019-1019

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Abstract

Yearly electricity production has increased steadily in the world in recent decades and the associated overhead power lines are widespread and occur across urban and natural habitats, and often in remote areas where there is little other anthropogenic influence. Here we assessed the effects of overhead power lines on the density of ground-nesting birds in the Icelandic lowlands which host several populations of international importance. The combined breeding density of the eight study species increased significantly from ~112 birds/km2 close (< 50 m) to the power lines to ~177 birds/km2 away (450-500 m) from the power lines, with two of these species (Eurasian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus and Common Redshank Tringa totanus) increasing significantly with distance from power lines and six species (European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago, Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis, Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa, Dunlin Calidris alpina and Redwing Turdus iliacus) showing no changes. These findings suggest that power lines can influence the breeding density of ground-nesting bird species in their vicinity and that accounting for such effects when planning future infrastructure will be imperative.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgements: This project was funded by the University of Iceland research fund as well as the Science and Research Fund of South-Iceland and The Nature Conservation Fund of Pálmi Jónsson. JAG and VM were supported by NERC grant NE/M012549/1. The authors would like to thank all the landowners that allowed data collection in their lands.
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2022 11:31
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2022 14:28
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/85282
DOI: 10.1111/ibi.13089

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