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Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund)

The Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme

The authors are solely responsible for the content of this report. Material included herein does not represent the opinion of the European Community, and the European Community is not responsible for any use that might be made of it.
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Determinants of bird habitat use in TIDE estuaries

3. Structure of the report

This report synthesizes the results of the study on the distribution of waterbirds in estuarine habitats and the identification the main factors affecting bird habitat use.

Chapter 3 provides an overview of the type of data that were used in this study, including their availability (in terms of spatial and temporal coverage) and limitations. The obtained results, in fact, highly depend on the data analysed, therefore this knowledge provides the boundaries of applicability of the resulting models. Further details and examples on how the data were derived are provided in Appendix 1. Additional information on the methods applied to this study is provided in the Tool “Guidelines on bird habitat analysis methodology”.

Chapter 4 describes the general characteristics of bird assemblages in TIDE estuaries, including information on the dominant species, total abundance and densities in the estuaries and their distribution across the salinity zones. Additional information is reported in Appendix 2.

Chapter 5 reports on the distribution of bird assemblages within each of the studied estuaries and its relationship with environmental variables, resulting from multivariate analysis and regression models. These results allow identification of the main environmental gradients affecting the distribution of waders and wildfowl communities across the estuarine areas. Additional detailed methods for this analysis and results are provided in Appendix 3.

Chapter 6 provides the results of species distribution models applied to selected wader and wildfowl species in the studied estuaries. Such results highlight the importance of different environmental variables (including habitat areas and characteristics and relevant water quality parameters) in affecting the distribution of species in the estuary, also providing the ranges of environmental conditions where higher species densities (or probability of occurrence) could be expected. Additional details on the analytical methods applied are provided in Appendix 4.

Chapter 7 provides an integrative discussion of the results reported in the previous chapters. A summary of the main findings of the study is reported as Conclusions in Chapter 8 (although brief summaries of the main results are also reported as text boxes at the end of each of previous chapters).

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