Habitat features of the capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) leks in the West Carpathians

Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) Science Article 4

abstract

Habitat characteristics of 43 capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) leks were studied in the mountains of Central Slovakia (West Carpathians) in 1984-2002. Macro-habitat was described with respect to topography and succession stage. Micro-habitat was described with respect to forest type and forest stand structure. Twenty-seven out of forty-three display grounds were situated in the upper half of the lateral ridges. Sixteen leks were located on hills of the lateral ridges (slope < 10%). All the leks were situated in old succession stages of the forest (80-200 years old). Twenty-seven display grounds were located in natural forests, sixteen leks were situated in man-managed stands more than 80 years old. Leks were situated in a variety of forest types with overstorey tree-density between 400-1,050 stems per ha. Distribution of leks was limited above all by macro-habitat characteristics (elevated sites, old stands). Age-space structure seemed to be a significant micro-habitat feature (preference of multi-layered stands).

M. Saniga, JOURNAL OF FOREST SCIENCE, 48, 2002 (9): 415-424

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