Reed habitats are unique ecosystems in several aspects. Reeds are locally very productive and harbour a rich invertebrate fauna. They are of rather simple and homogenous structure. The more or less two-dimensional spread and mainly vertical structure is due to the low vegetation height and the few dominating emergent plant species. Not surprisingly, the number of reed breeding passerines is comparably low. This is probably due to several factors: reeds are patchily distributed and cover all together a relatively small area, require distinct adaptations, and their rather simple structure and homogeneity provide few niches. Despite their great environmental value, reeds are continually being destroyed. Conflicts arise with respect to the conservation of this special habitat because of various economic interests. This volume is a compilation of different studies treating various aspects of the ecology of reed breeding birds, mainly passerines. These studies deal either with the ecological peculiarities of reed beds, or with the morphological as well as behavioural adaptations of birds to this special environment. This volume is mainly written for a scientifically interested readership, but it might also be a source for people who are concerned with developing conservation strategies in relation to reed stands.
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