Action: Plant trees to act as windbreaks
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- One of two before-and-after studies, from the UK, found that the local population of European nightjars increased following several interventions including the planting of windbreaks.
- A before-and-after study, from the USA, found that erecting a windbreak appeared to disrupt lekking behaviour in greater prairie chicken territories nearby.
Excessive wind may reduce the suitability of open habitat patches. Planting windbreaks may overcome this risk.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A before-and-after study in shrubland in 1962-1964 in Wisconsin, USA (Anderson 1969), found that the erection of a windbreak of 4 m high pines Pinus spp. appeared to disrupt lekking behaviour in male greater prairie chickens Tympanuchus cupido, with several males vacating their territories after trees were erected nearby.
A before-and-after study at Minsmere reserve (151 ha), Suffolk, UK, in 1978-1988 (Burgess et al. 1990), found that the local population of European nightjars Caprimulgus europaeus increased following a series of management interventions, including the planting of ‘shelter belts’ to reduce wind in woodland glades. This study is discussed in detail in ‘Clear or open patches in forests’.
- Anderson R.K. (1969) Prairie chicken responses to changing booming-ground cover type and height. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 33, 636-643
- Burgess N.D., Evans C.E. & Sorensen J. (1990) The management of lowland heath for nightjars at Minsmere, Suffolk, Great Britain. Journal of Environmental Management, 31, 351-359