Ornis Hungarica. vol.10. (2000) p.17-26.
Species-area relationship and nestedness in nature reserves
Using published species lists of breeding birds of nature reserves, we examined the speciesarea relationship. The logarithm of the numbers of species plotted against the logarithm of areas formed a line with a slope conforming data available in the literature. Several small reserves contained more species than a single large area of equivalent size in Hungary. However, there were species that occurred only on the largest sites (Bkk and Hortobgy NPs). We must therefore take into consideration not only the numbers, but the identity of the species, since many of the rare species bred only in the largest reserves. The breeding bird communities of Hungarian reserves were significantly nested. The species that occurred on unexpected sites required special habitats. Human disturbance, special habitats, unique species pool or the completeness of species lists caused the idiosyncracy of some reserves. These examinations are likely to be important in designing refuges. The protection of large sites is essential because of the area requirements of some rare species. Smaller areas can be of great importance, if our aim is to protect the greatest number of species, and/or habitat specialists.