Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.12-13. (2003) p.51-63.

Bird community dynamics in a primaeval forest - is interspecific competition important?
T. Wesolowski

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Views on the role of interspecific competition in shaping the structure and dynamics of bird communities vary widely, from negligible impacts on one hand, to being the leading ecological and evolutionary force, producing highly structured communities on the other. What role has this factor played in forming pristine European forest bird communities? Data collected in the primaeval temperate forest, the BiaBowie|a National Park (E Poland) over a period of 25 years are used to answer this question. The bird community of the BiaBowie|a Forest was composed of numerous species, usually breeding at low densities. Food resources and nest sites were usually superabundant, but production of young remained low, due to heavy nest predation. The population sizes of individual species/guilds changed either independently of each other or in parallel. These results indicate that interspecific competition has apparently been of minor importance in the primaeval conditions. This remains in sharp contrast to its frequently of these findings for our understanding of biological processes are discussed.