iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Effects of forest management on bird assemblages in the Bialowieza Forest, Poland

Dorota Czeszczewik (1)   , Karol Zub (2), Tomasz Stanski (1), Mustapha Sahel (3), Anna Kapusta (1), Wieslaw Walankiewicz (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 3, Pages 377-385 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1212-007
Published: Oct 02, 2014 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles

We examined the effects of different intensities of forest management on bird communities in the Bialowieza Forest, eastern Poland. Stands that had been managed for more than 100 years (cutting, planting, removal of dead wood) and stands that were partially protected in nature reserves (sporadic sanitary cutting, removal of dead wood until 2008) were compared with unmanaged stands in the Bialowieza National Park by surveying the bird community during three breeding seasons (2010-2012). Surveys were conducted within three forest habitats: spruce-pine (Pino-Quercetum), lime-hornbeam (Tilio-Carpinetum) and ash-alder (Fraxino-Alnetum). Results showed that habitat structure significantly affected the avian community. The basal area of live trees had a positive effect on abundance of birds, while the density of live trees had negative significant effect on bird abundance and species diversity. We also found significantly lower abundance of insectivorous birds and cavity-nesters in managed compared to unmanaged stands. Birds’ assembly in the spruce-pine and ash-alder stands were most sensitive to management. These results show both that management can be used to sustain bird communities, including species of conservation concern, and that inappropriate management may harm them.


Bialowieza Forest, Breeding Bird Communities, Forest Biodiversity, Primeval Stands, Forest Management

Authors’ address

Dorota Czeszczewik
Tomasz Stanski
Anna Kapusta
Wieslaw Walankiewicz
Department of Zoology, Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities, Prusa 12, 08-110 Siedlce (Poland)
Karol Zub
Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, 17-230 Bialowieza (Poland)
Mustapha Sahel
ul. Lecha 7a/91, 05-400 Otwock (Poland)

Corresponding author

Dorota Czeszczewik


Czeszczewik D, Zub K, Stanski T, Sahel M, Kapusta A, Walankiewicz W (2015). Effects of forest management on bird assemblages in the Bialowieza Forest, Poland. iForest 8: 377-385. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1212-007

Academic Editor

Massimo Faccoli

Paper history

Received: Dec 23, 2013
Accepted: Jul 24, 2014

First online: Oct 02, 2014
Publication Date: Jun 01, 2015
Publication Time: 2.33 months

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