Niche and habitat partitioning among tits and associated species in a woodland in Western Piedmont

Rolando A., Robotti C. A. & Cantore L. G.

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Annual ecological isolation of tits Parus major, P. caeruleus, P. palustris and the associated species Aegithalos caudatus, Sitta europaea was studied in a woodland in Western Piedmont. The analysis was carried out by considering factors pertaining to the niche and to the habitat. Three niche dimensions (tree species, vertical and horizontal distribution) were taken into account distinguishing the individuai activities (foraging, singing, resting, comfort behaviour). Niche breadths were higher in spring-summer than in autumn-winter. Singing niche values resulted lower than foraging ones. Both niche and habitat analysis showed that the Nuthatch was the most isolated species. Niche and habitat factors appeared to be strictly dependent. Furthermore, the only examination of foraging activity alone seems to be enough to get an approximate description of specie s' niches.