Airborne laser scanning reveals habitat features of wetland birds


A new paper published in the scientific journal Ecography uses airborne laser scanning (ALS) data acquired during the third Dutch national ALS flight campaign to show how three closely related warbler species (great reed warbler, Eurasian reed warbler and Savi's warbler) separate their breeding habitat niches in relation to the vertical and horizontal structure of vegetation within wetlands. The results reveal that the three species differ in their occurrence densities within wetland habitat space, especially in relation to reed height, foliage height diversity, density of low vegetation, to the extent, patchiness and height variability of reedbeds, and to the presence of shrubs, trees or water. The combination of high resolution remote sensing data with ecological field observations from monitoring schemes now allows such new insights into the ecological niches of species. [ABSTRACT] [DATA] [PRESS RELEASE]