10 Works

Data from: Using molecular and crowd-sourcing methods to assess breeding ground diet of a migratory brood parasite of conservation concern

Lowell Mills, Jeremy D. Wilson, Anke Lange, Karen Moore, Barry Henwood, Hazel Knipe, Dominique Chaput & Charles Tyler
Breeding ground food availability is critical to the survival and productivity of adult birds. The common cuckoo Cuculus canorus is a brood-parasitic Afro-Palearctic migrant bird exhibiting long-term (breeding) population declines in many European countries. Variation in population trend between regions and habitats suggests breeding ground drivers such as adult food supply. However, cuckoo diet has not been studied in detail since before the most significant population declines in Europe began in the mid-1980s. 20th century...

Proactive conservation to prevent habitat losses to agricultural expansion

David Williams, Michael Clark, Graeme M. Buchanan, G. Francesco Ficetola, Carlo Rondinini & David Tilman
The projected loss of millions of square kilometres of natural ecosystems to meet future demand for food, animal feed, fibre, and bioenergy crops is likely to massively escalate threats to biodiversity. Reducing these threats requires a detailed knowledge of how and where they are likely to be most severe. We developed a geographically explicit model of future agricultural land clearance based on observed historic changes and combine the outputs with species-specific habitat preferences for 19,859...

Evaluating spatially explicit sharing-sparing scenarios for multiple environmental outcomes

Tom Finch, Brett Day, Dario Massimino, John Redhead, Rob Field, Andrew Balmford, Rhys Green & Will Peach
1. Understanding how to allocate land for the sustainable delivery of multiple, competing objectives is a major societal challenge. The land sharing-sparing framework presents a heuristic for understanding the trade-off between food production and biodiversity conservation by comparing region-wide land use scenarios which are equivalent in terms of overall food production. 2. Here, for two contrasting regions of lowland England (The Fens and Salisbury Plain), we use empirical data and predictive models to compare a...

Consistent concentrations of critically endangered Balearic shearwaters in UK waters revealed by at-sea surveys

Jessica Ann Phillips, Alex N. Banks, Mark Bolton, Tom Brereton, Pierre Cazenave, Natasha Gillies, Oliver Padget, Jeroen Van Der Kooij, James Waggit & Tim Guilford
Aim: Europe’s only globally critically endangered seabird, the Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus), is thought to have expanded its post-breeding range northwards into UK waters, though its distribution there is not yet well understood. This study aims to identify environmental factors associated with the species’ presence, and map the probability of presence of the species across the western English Channel and southern Celtic Sea, and estimate the number of individuals in this area. Location: The western...

Data from: Local-scale tree and shrub diversity improves pollination services to shea trees in tropical West African parklands

Aoife Delaney, Assita Dembele, Issa Nombre, Franck Gnane Lirasse, Elaine Marshall, Adama Nana, Juliet Vickery, Cath Tayleur & Jane Stout
Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) trees bear fruit and seeds of considerable economic, nutritional and cultural value in the African Sudano-Sahelian zone. In much of West Africa, shea exists within an agroforestry system referred to as “Parkland”, where social changes, including migration, have resulted in expanding areas of crop cultivation, reductions in both the area of fallow land and the duration of fallow periods, and reduced diversity of habitats and woody species. Shea benefits strongly from pollination...

Gradients in richness and turnover of a forest passerine’s diet prior to breeding: a mixed model approach applied to faecal metabarcoding data

Jack Shutt, James Nicholls, Urmi Trivedi, Malcolm Burgess, Graham Stone, Jarrod Hadfield & Albert Phillimore
Little is known about the dietary richness and variation of generalist insectivorous species, including birds, due primarily to difficulties in prey identification. Using faecal metabarcoding we provide the most comprehensive analysis of a passerine’s diet to date, identifying the relative magnitudes of biogeographic, habitat and temporal trends in the richness and turnover in diet of Cyanistes caeruleus (blue tit) along a 39-site, 2° latitudinal transect in Scotland. Faecal samples were collected during 2014-15 from adult...

Optimising nature conservation outcomes for a given region-wide level of food production

Tom Finch, Rhys Green, Dario Massimino, Will Peach & Andrew Balmford
The land sharing-sparing framework aims to quantify the trade-off between food production and biodiversity conservation, but it has been criticised for offering, for reasons of simplicity, an unrealistically limited set of different land uses. Here, we develop the framework to evaluate a much larger suite of land-use strategies in which the areas and yields of three land-use compartments, natural habitat, high-yield farmland, and lower-yield farmland, are varied simultaneously. For two regions of England, we use...

Diurnal timing of nonmigratory movement by birds: the importance of foraging spatial scales

Julie Mallon, Marlee Tucker, Annalea Beard, , Keith Bildstein, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, John Brzorad, Evan Buechley, Javier Bustamante, Carlos Carrapato, José Castillo-Guerrero, Elizabeth Clingham, Mark Desholm, Christopher DeSorbo, Robert Domenech, Hayley Douglas, Olivier Duriez, Peter Enggist, Nina Farwig, Wolfgang Fiedler, Anna Gagliardo, Clara García-Ripollés, Juan Antonio Gil, Morgan Gilmour, Roi Harel … & Bill Fagan
Timing of activity can reveal an organism’s efforts to optimize foraging either by minimizing energy loss through passive movement or by maximizing energetic gain through foraging. Here, we assess whether signals of either of these strategies are detectable in the timing of activity of daily, local movements by birds. We compare the similarities of timing of movement activity among species using six temporal variables: start of activity relative to sunrise, end of activity relative to...

Experimental evidence that novel land management interventions inspired by history enhance biodiversity

Robert Hawkes, Jennifer Smart, Andy Brown, Helen Jones, Steve Lane, Colin Lucas, James McGill, Nick Owens, Amanda Ratier Backes, Jonathan Webb, Doreen Wells & Paul Dolman
To address biodiversity declines within semi-natural habitats, land-management must cater for diverse taxonomic groups. Integrating our understanding of the ecological requirements of priority (rare, scarce or threatened) species through ‘biodiversity auditing’, with that of the intensity and complexity of historical land-use, encourages novel forms of management. Experimental confirmation is needed to establish whether this enhances biodiversity conservation relative to routine management. Biodiversity auditing and historical land-use of dry-open terrestrial habitats in Breckland (Eastern England) both...

How butterflies keep their cool: physical and ecological traits influence thermoregulatory ability and population trends.

Andrew Bladon, Matthew Lewis, Eleanor Bladon, Sam Buckton, Stuart Corbett, Steven Ewing, Matthew Hayes, Gwen Hitchcock, Richard Knock, Colin Lucas, Adam McVeigh, Rosa Menendez, Jonah Walker, Tom Fayle & Edgar Turner
Understanding which factors influence the ability of individuals to respond to changing temperatures is fundamental to species conservation under climate change. We investigated how a community of butterflies responded to fine-scale changes in air temperature, and whether species-specific responses were predicted by ecological or morphological traits. Using data collected across a UK reserve network, we investigated the ability of 29 butterfly species to buffer thoracic temperature against changes in air temperature. First, we tested whether...

Registration Year

  • 2020

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • University of Cambridge
  • Natural England
  • British Trust for Ornithology
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Oxford
  • Bangor University
  • Biodiversity Research Institute
  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • University of Ouagadougou