The effects of forest edge and nest height on nest predation in a U.K. deciduous forest fragment
It has been previously hypothesised that nest predation is higher at forest edges. This has important conservation implications for the increasingly fragmented U.K. climax community. I aimed to test the generality of this edge effect in a mixed deciduous forest fragment which borders open grassland. Artificial nests containing a combination of quail and plasticine eggs were used, at ground and arboreal levels. I found an overall edge effect on nest predation rates, however this effect was not specifically seen in ground nests. Ground nests experienced significantly higher levels of predation than arboreal nests. I suggest this edge effect is due in part to the steep productivity gradient over the ecotone.