Chaplygina, A., Savynska, N.O.* and Brygadyrenko, V.V. 2018. Trophic Links of the Spotted Flycatcher, Muscicapa striata, in Transformed Forest Ecosystems of North-Eastern Ukraine. Baltic Forestry 24(2): 304-312.

   The diet of the spotted flycatcher, Muscicapa striata Pallas, 1764, was studied to reveal its trophic links and subsistence of bird populations in transformed ecosystems of North-Eastern Ukraine. A total of 75 invertebrate taxa were found in the diet. Insects made up 94.8%: imagoes of Diptera (39.8%), Hymenoptera (24.2%), Lepidoptera (17.2%), Odonata (7.9%), Coleoptera (5.1%), etc. Large-sized insects dominated. Qualitative composition of the nestling diet of spotted flycatchers was composed of zoophages (31.7%), phytophages (29.4%), saprophages (20.1%), polyphages (12.0%), and necrophages (6.7%). Invertebrate trophic groups were almost equally distributed in the nestling diet according to the number of taken insects as follows: zoophages (22.0%), polyphages (21.0%), phytophages (21.0%), necrophages (20.0%), and saprophages (16.0%). Environmental conditions play an important role affecting the diet structure. The most favourable feeding conditions for the species were found in protected natural areas. The analysis showed that the forage intake of flycatchers was equal in all the sites. The highest invertebrate diversity was found in model site 2 (National Nature Park “Homilshanski Lisy”) with its 62 taxa and in model site 4 (National Nature Park “Hetmanskyi”) with its 33 taxa. Similarity indices were higher in model site 3 (30) compared to model site 1 (26) showing that birds could switch between different invertebrate species thus causing the formation of ecological pre-adaptations and further synanthropisation of the species. The highest values of Jaccard and Sørensen indices, 57.5% and 73.0%, respectively, for 23 taxa of invertebrates were revealed in model sites 3 and 4.

   Keywords: spotted flycatcher, foraging pattern, transformed areas, invertebrates, diet, trophic links, competition, dendrophilous birds, zoophages, phytophages, saprophages.