Effect of hedgerow characteristics on partridge breeding densities.

Author Rands, M.R.W.
Citation Rands, M.R.W. (1986). Effect of hedgerow characteristics on partridge breeding densities. Journal of Applied Ecology, 23: 479-487.


  1. The influence of the quantity and quality of nesting habitat (field boundaries, including hedgerows) on the breeding density of grey and red-legged partridge was examined on ten arable farms in Britain.
  2. The length of permanent field boundary was found to correlate closely with the breeding density of both species of partridge within study farms; between farms it did not.
  3. In a multiple regression analysis the amount of dead grass present in the base of the hedge was the best predictor of grey partridge breeding density within farms after the length of the field boundary was taken into account. A similar analysis for red-legged partridges showed that the amount of nettle present at the base of field boundaries was the only variable related to breeding density after the overall length was taken into account. Between farms, the breeding density of both species was unrelated to the hedgerow characteristics.
  4. The importance of hedges and hedgerow management to partridges is discussed. It is suggested that hedgerow characteristics are important in determining the local spacing of breeding partridges but they may not determine overall population size.

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