Publication
Title
Solar parks can enhance bird diversity in agricultural landscape
Author
Abstract
Solar photovoltaic power parks are a relatively new anthropogenic habitat that will become more widespread in the future. The greatest potential for solar photovoltaic power production is on arable land and grassland. Knowledge on the impacts of solar parks on biodiversity is scarce and spatially limited. We investigated the impact of ground-mounted solar parks on species richness, abundance, Shannon diversity and composition of bird communities in Slovakia (Central Europe), taking into account pre-construction land cover, elevation and landscape context. We recorded breeding, foraging or perching birds on 32 solar park plots and 32 adjacent control plots (two hectares each) during single breeding season. We found that solar parks supported higher total bird species richness and diversity, and richness and abundance of invertebrate-eaters, and that the abundance of ground-foragers was higher in solar parks developed on grassland than in grassland control plots. Ordination analysis showed that solar parks had a different composition of bird communities and thus increased overall species diversity and beta diversity in the agricultural landscapes studied. Plot type and landscape context accounted for most of the variation in bird community composition. Black redstart, European stonechat, white wagtail and Eurasian tree sparrow were identified as indicator species for solar parks. The observed pattern could be due to the higher structural diversity of solar parks. The solar parks studied were designed and managed exclusively for electricity production. It can therefore be assumed that solar parks designed and managed in synergy with a stronger focus on wildlife would have an even greater positive impact on bird diversity in an agricultural landscape.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Journal of environmental management. - London
Publication
London : 2024
ISSN
0301-4797
DOI
10.1016/J.JENVMAN.2023.119902
Volume/pages
351 (2024) , p. 1-12
Article Reference
119902
Pubmed ID
38171122
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
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Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Record
Identifier
Creation 09.01.2024
Last edited 10.01.2024
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