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Are trellis vineyards avoided? Examining how vineyard types affect the distribution of great bustards

AuthorsCasas, Fabián; Gurarie, Eliezer; Fagan, William F.; Mainali, Kumar; Santiago, Raúl; Hervás, Israel; Palacín, Carlos ; Moreno, Eulalia ; Viñuela, Javier
KeywordsAgriculture intensification
Habitat suitability
Otis tarda
Issue Date2020
CitationAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 289: 106734 (2020)
AbstractA significant restructuring of vineyards is currently taking place in the European Union (EU) as a result of the implementation of a restructuring and conversion of vineyards regulation (CE 1493/1999) in southwest Europe, so that trellis vineyards are rapidly replacing traditional vineyards (e.g., surface area from 18.1 % in 2010 to 34 % in 2015 in Castilla-La Mancha, Central Spain). These changes may influence patterns of space use in birds, which may avoid modified habitats. We assess how the location of traditional and trellis vineyards might influence the distribution of great bustard (Otis tarda), a globally threatened species. We estimate Resource Selection Functions (RSFs) to quantify the relative probability of use of different areas by the great bustards, and use the RSF’s to simulated scenarios of conversion from traditional to trellis vineyards (low - 10 %, medium - 30 %, and high rate - 60 %) to quantify the potential impact of such modifications on the availability of suitable great bustard habitat. Our results revealed that great bustards significantly avoid trellis vineyards, especially at closer distances. Transition scenarios show how an increase in the proportion of traditional vineyards converted to trellis vineyards greatly decrease the proportion of suitable habitat for great bustard. Compared to current conditions, the percentage loss of suitable habitat increased steadily with higher rates of converted vineyards, up to 60 % loss of suitable habitat at the highest rate of conversion. Because the effect of transforming traditional vineyards to trellis vineyards depends both on the amount of habitat available for bustards before the transformation occurs and on the overall area covered by vineyards, a correct estimation of transformable vineyard area will require a case-by-case assessment to assure a low impact on bustard populations. We identified alternative vineyard management options that would mitigate impacts on the great bustard populations.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2019.106734
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