Habitat and landscape features that influence the rate of interpatch movement and colonization may determine the likelihood that a species will persist in fragmented landscapes. We simulated patch extinction by removing Carolina Chickadees (Poecile carolinensis) from woodland fragments in an Ohio agricultural landscape in January 2002. We then monitored the woodlands to determine their dates of reoccupation and subsequent use for breeding by the birds. All woodlots were eventually reoccupied, regardless of size or degree of isolation, but woodlots in less-forested landscapes connected to other woodland by habitat corridors were reoccupied sooner than unconnected woodlots. Reoccupation was more likely to occur during periods of mild wind chill. Following reoccupation, individual Carolina Chickadees were more often temporarily absent from smaller woodlots, which suggests that they may have used woodlots that insufficiently met foraging or breeding requirements. Carolina Chickadees were more likely to remain to breed in larger woodlots. Results indicate that habitat connectivity may affect the tendency of this species to move through a fragmented landscape. Habitat corridors may be important management tools for maintaining movement of animals between patches.
Dinámica de Colonización de Parches en Poecile carolinensis en Paisajes Fragmentados: Un Estudio de Manipulación