45 Works

Data from: Linking isotopes and panmixia: high within-colony variation in feather δ2H, δ13C, and δ15N across the range of the American white pelican

Matthew W. Reudink, Christopher J. Kyle, Ann E. McKellar, Christopher M. Somers, Robyn L.F. Reudink, T. Kurt Kyser, Samantha E. Franks & Joseph J. Nocera
Complete panmixia across the entire range of a species is a relatively rare phenomenon; however, this pattern may be found in species that have limited philopatry and frequent dispersal. American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhyncos) provide a unique opportunity to examine the role of long-distance dispersal in facilitating gene flow in a species recently reported as panmictic across its broad breeding range. This species is also undergoing a range expansion, with new colonies arising hundreds of...

Data from: Effects of winter food provisioning on the phenotypes of breeding blue tits

Kate E. Plummer, Stuart Bearhop, David I. Leech, Dan E. Chamberlain & Jonathan D. Blount
Throughout the Western World huge numbers of people regularly supply food for wild birds. However, evidence of negative impacts of winter feeding on future reproduction has highlighted a need to improve understanding of the underlying mechanisms shaping avian responses to supplementary food. Here, we test the possibility that carry-over effects are mediated via their impact on the phenotypes of breeding birds, either by influencing the phenotypic structure of populations through changes in winter survival and/or...

Evolution of chain migration in an aerial insectivorous bird, the common swift Apus apus

Susanne Akesson, Phil Atkinson, Ana Bermejo, Javier De La Puente, Mauro Ferri, Chris Hewson, Jan Holmgren, Erich Kaiser, Lyndon Kearsley, Raymond Klaassen, Heikki Kolunen, Gittan Matsson, Fausto Minelli, Gabriel Norevik, Hannu Pietiäinen, Navinder J Singh, Fernando Spina, Lukas Viktora & Anders Hedenstrom
Spectacular long-distance migration has evolved repeatedly in animals enabling exploration of resources separated in time and space. In birds, these patterns are largely driven by seasonality, cost of migration, and asymmetries in competition leading most often to leap-frog migration, where northern breeding populations winter furthest to the south. Here we show that the highly aerial common swift Apus apus, spending the non-breeding period on the wing, instead exhibits a rarely-found chain migration pattern, where the...

Data from: Wind-associated detours promote seasonal migratory connectivity in a flapping flying long-distance avian migrant

Gabriel Norevik, Susanne Akesson, Tom Artois, Natalie Beenaerts, Greg Conway, Brian Cresswell, Ruben Evens, Ian Henderson, Frederic Jiguet & Anders Hedenström
1. It is essential to gain knowledge about the causes and extent of migratory connectivity between stationary periods of migrants to further the understanding of processes affecting populations, and to allow efficient implementation of conservation efforts throughout the annual cycle. Avian migrants likely use optimal routes with respect to mode of locomotion, orientation and migration strategy, influenced by external factors such as wind and topography. In self-powered flapping flying birds any increases in fuel loads...

Data from: Bird and bat species' global vulnerability to collision mortality at wind farms revealed through a trait-based assessment

Chris B. Thaxter, Graeme M. Buchanan, Carr Jamie, Stuart H.M. Butchart, Tim Newbold, Rhys E. Green, Joseph A. Tobias, Wendy B. Foden, Sue O'Brien & James W. Pearce-Higgins
Mitigation of anthropogenic climate change involves deployments of renewable energy worldwide, including wind farms, which can pose a significant collision risk to volant animals. Most studies into the collision risk between species and wind turbines, however, have taken place in industrialized countries. Potential effects for many locations and species therefore remain unclear. To redress this gap, we conducted a systematic literature review of recorded collisions between birds and bats and wind turbines within developed countries....

United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme: site indices data 2017

M.S. Botham, T. Brereton, S. Harris, C. Harrower, I. Middlebrook, Z. Randle & D.B. Roy
Site indices, as a relative measure of the actual population size, for UK butterfly species calculated from data from the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS). Site indices are a relative rather than an absolute measure of the size of a population, and have been shown to relate closely to other, more intensive, measures of population size such as mark, release, recapture (MRR) methods. The site index can be thought of as a relative measure of...

United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme: species trends 2017

M.S. Botham, T. Brereton, S. Harris, C. Harrower, I. Middlebrook, Z. Randle & D.B. Roy
This dataset provides linear trends, over varying time periods, for the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS) collated Indices of individual butterfly species across the UK. The main statistical values derived from a linear regression (slope, standard error, P-value) are presented for the entire time series for each species (1976 to 2017), for the last 20 years, and for the last decade. In addition a trend class, based on slope direction and its significance, and a...

Data from: Characteristics determining host suitability for a generalist parasite

Bård G. Stokke, Irja I. Ratikainen, Arne Moksnes, Eivin Røskaft, Karl Schulze-Hagen, David I. Leech, Anders P. Møller & Frode Fossøy
Host quality is critical for parasites. The common cuckoo Cuculus canorus is a generalist avian brood parasite, but individual females show strong preference for a specific host species. Here, we use three extensive datasets to investigate different host characteristics determining cuckoo host selection at the species level: (i) 1871 population-specific parasitism rates collected across Europe; (ii) 14 K cases of parasitism in the United Kingdom; and (iii) 16 K cases of parasitism in Germany, with...

Data from: Long-term declines in winter body mass of tits throughout Britain and Ireland correlate with climate change

Euan N. Furness & Robert A. Robinson
1. The optimum body mass of passerine birds typically represents a trade-off between starvation risk, which promotes fat gain, and predation pressure, which promotes fat loss to maintain manoeuvrability. Changes in ecological factors that affect either of these variables will therefore change the optimum body masses of populations of passerine birds. 2. This study sought to identify and quantify the effects of changing temperatures and predation pressures on the body masses and wing lengths of...

Individual variability and versatility in an eco-evolutionary model of avian migration

Benjamin M. Van Doren, Kira E. Delmore, Greg J. Conway, Teja Curk, Tania Garrido-Garduño, Ryan R. Germain, Timo Hasselmann, Dieter Hiemer, Henk Van Der Jeugd, Hannah Justen, Juan Sebastian Lugo Ramos, Ivan Maggini, Britta S. Meyer, Robbie J. Phillips, Magdalena Remisiewicz, Graham C. M. Roberts, Ben C. Sheldon, Wolfgang Vogl & Miriam Liedvogel
Seasonal migration is a complex and variable behavior with the potential to promote reproductive isolation. In Eurasian blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla), a migratory divide in central Europe separating populations with southwest and southeast autumn routes may facilitate isolation, and individuals using new wintering areas in Britain show divergence from Mediterranean winterers. We tracked 100 blackcaps in the wild to characterize these strategies. Blackcaps to the west and east of the divide used predominantly SW and SE...

Configurational crop heterogeneity increases within-field plant diversity

Audrey Alignier, Xavier Solé-Senan, Irene Robleño, Barbara Baraibar, Fahrig Lenore, David Giralt, Nicolas Gross, Jean-Louis Martin, Jordi Recasens, Clelia Sirami, Gavin Siriwardena, Aliette Bosem Baillod, Colette Bertrand, Romain Carrie, Annika Hass, Laura Henckel, Paul Miguet, Isabelle Badenhausser, Jacques Baudry, Gerard Bota, Vincent Bretagnolle, Lluis Brotons, Francoise Burel, François Calatayud, Yann Clough … & Péter Batáry
1. Increasing landscape heterogeneity by restoring semi-natural elements to reverse farmland biodiversity declines is not always economically feasible or acceptable to farmers due to competition for land. We hypothesized that increasing the heterogeneity of the crop mosaic itself, hereafter referred to as crop heterogeneity, can have beneficial effects on within-field plant diversity. 2. Using a unique multi-country dataset from a cross-continent collaborative project covering 1451 agricultural fields within 432 landscapes in Europe and Canada, we...

Data from: Attributing changes in the distribution of species abundance to weather variables using the example of British breeding birds

Cornelia S. Oedekoven, David A. Elston, Philip J. Harrison, Mark J. Brewer, Steve T. Buckland, Alison Johnston, Simon Foster, James W. Pearce-Higgins & Stephen T. Buckland
1. Modelling spatio-temporal changes in species abundance and attributing those changes to potential drivers such as climate, is an important but difficult problem. The standard approach for incorporating climatic variables into such models is to include each weather variable as a single covariate whose effect is expressed through a low-order polynomial or smoother in an additive model. This, however, confounds the spatial and temporal effects of the covariates. 2. We developed a novel approach to...

Data from: Effects of deer on woodland structure revealed through terrestrial laser scanning

Markus P. Eichhorn, Joseph Ryding, Martin J. Smith, Robin M. A. Gill, Gavin M. Siriwardena & Robert J. Fuller
Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) captures the three-dimensional structure of habitats. Compared to traditional methods of forest mensuration, it allows quantification of structure at increased resolution, and the derivation of novel metrics with which to inform ecological studies and habitat management. Lowland woodlands in the UK have altered in structure over the last century due to increased abundance of deer and a decline in management. We compared whole-canopy profiles between woodlands with high (>10 deer km−2)...

Data from: Supplemental food alters nest defence and incubation behaviour of an open-nesting wetland songbird

Jim O. Vafidis, Richard J. Facey, David Leech & Robert J. Thomas
Climate-driven increases in spring temperatures are expected to result in higher prey availability earlier in the breeding season for insectivorous birds breeding in wetland habitats. Predation during the incubation phase is a major cause of nesting failure in open-nesting altricial birds such as the Eurasian reed warbler. The nest predation rate in this species has recently been shown to be substantially reduced under conditions of experimentally elevated invertebrate prey availability. Food availability near the nest...

Data from: Managing conflict between bats and humans: the response of soprano pipistrelles (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) to exclusion from roosts in houses

Emma Stone, Matt R. K. Zeale, Stuart E. Newson, William J. Browne, Stephen Harris & Gareth Jones
Conflict can arise when bats roost in human dwellings and householders are affected adversely by their presence. In the United Kingdom, the exclusion of bats from roosts can be licensed under exceptional circumstances to alleviate conflict, but the fate of excluded bats and the impact on their survival and reproduction is not well understood. Using radio-tracking, we investigated the effects of exclusion on the soprano pipistrelle Pipistrellus pygmaeus, a species that commonly roosts in buildings...

Data from: Winter wren populations show adaptation to local climate

Catriona A. Morrison, Robert A. Robinson & James W. Pearce-Higgins
Most studies of evolutionary responses to climate change have focused on phenological responses to warming, and provide only weak evidence for evolutionary adaptation. This could be because phenological changes are more weakly linked to fitness than more direct mechanisms of climate change impacts, such as selective mortality during extreme weather events which have immediate fitness consequences for the individuals involved. Studies examining these other mechanisms may be more likely to show evidence for evolutionary adaptation....

Data from: Modelling flight heights of lesser black-backed gulls and great skuas from GPS: a Bayesian approach

Viola H. Ross-Smith, Chris B. Thaxter, Elizabeth A. Masden, Judy Shamoun-Baranes, Niall H. K. Burton, Lucy J. Wright, Mark M. Rehfisch & Alison Johnston
Wind energy generation is increasing globally, and associated environmental impacts must be considered. The risk of seabirds colliding with offshore wind turbines is influenced by flight height, and flight height data usually come from observers on boats, making estimates in daylight in fine weather. GPS tracking provides an alternative and generates flight height information in a range of conditions, but the raw data have associated error. Here, we present a novel analytical solution for accommodating...

Data from: Low fitness at low latitudes: wintering in the tropics increases migratory delays and mortality rates in an Arctic breeding shorebird

Jeroen Reneerkens, Tom S.L. Versluijs, Theunis Piersma, Jose Alves, Mark Boorman, Colin Corse, Olivier Gilg, Gunnar Hallgrimsson, Johannes Lang, Bob Loos, Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, Alfred Nuoh, Peter Potts, Job Ten Horn & Tamar Lok
1. Evolutionary theories of seasonal migration generally assume that the costs of longer migrations are balanced by benefits at the non-breeding destinations. 2. We tested, and rejected, the null hypothesis of equal survival and timing of spring migration for High Arctic breeding sanderling Calidris alba using six and eight winter destinations between 55° N and 25° S, respectively. 3. Annual apparent survival was considerably lower for adult birds wintering in tropical West-Africa (Mauritania: 0.74 and...

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...

Data from: The consequences of land sparing for birds in the United Kingdom

Anthony Lamb, Tom Finch, James W. Pearce-Higgins, Malcolm Ausden, Andrew Balmford, Claire Feniuk, Graham Hirons, Dario Massimino & Rhys E. Green
1. Land sparing has been proposed as a strategy to reconcile biodiversity conservation with agricultural production, with empirical studies on five continents indicating that most species would benefit if food demand was met through high-yield farming combined with the protection or restoration of natural habitat. 2. Most such studies come from landscapes covered by large areas of natural habitat and without a long history of intense human modification. However, much of Europe, consists of human-dominated...

Data from: Correlates of alternative migratory strategies in western bluebirds

Catherine A. Dale, Joseph J. Nocera, Samantha E. Franks, T. Kurt Kyser & Laurene M. Ratcliffe
Partial migration occurs when only some animals in a population migrate. While evidence suggests that migratory strategies are partially controlled by genes, individual and environmental conditions which alter the cost‐benefit trade‐off of migration among individuals are also likely to play a role. Three hypotheses have been advanced to explain condition‐dependent partial migration: the arrival time, dominance, and body size hypotheses. In this study, we asked whether these hypotheses explained differences in migratory strategy among individuals...

Populations of high-value predators reflect the traits of their prey dataset

Cayetano Gutierrez Canovas, Thomas Worthington, David Noble, Daniel Perkins, Ian Vaughan, Guy Woodward, Steve Ormerod & Isabelle Durance
The extent to which prey traits combine to influence the abundance of predators is still poorly understood, particularly for mixed predators in sympatry and in aquatic ecosystems. In this study, we characterise prey use and distribution in iconic bird (grey wagtails and Eurasian dippers) and fish species (brown trout and Atlantic salmon) to assess whether prey traits could predict populations of these four riverine predators. Specifically, we hypothesised that: (i) Prey key traits would predict...

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...

Data from: Latitudinal variation of arrival and breeding phenology of the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca using large-scale citizen science data.

Pedro G Nicolau, Malcolm D Burgess, Tiago A Marques, Stephen R Baillie, Dave I Leech, Nick J Moran & Alison Johnston
Many species have advanced the timing of annual reproductive cycles in response to climatic warming, sometimes leading to asynchrony between trophic levels, with negative population consequences. Long-distance migratory birds, reliant on short seasonal food pulses for breeding, are considered particularly susceptible to such disjunction because late arrival may preclude optimal timing of egg-laying. It is unknown whether the relative timing of arrival and egg-laying is sufficiently plastic, in time and space, to enable an adaptive...

Data from: Can observation skills of citizen scientists be estimated using species accumulation curves?

Steve Kelling, Alison Johnston, Wesley M. Hochachka, Marshall Iliff, Daniel Fink, Jeff Gerbracht, Carl Lagoze, Frank A. La Sorte, Travis Moore, Andrea Wiggins, Weng-Keen Wong, Chris Wood & Jun Yu
Volunteers are increasingly being recruited into citizen science projects to collect observations for scientific studies. An additional goal of these projects is to engage and educate these volunteers. Thus, there are few barriers to participation resulting in volunteer observers with varying ability to complete the project’s tasks. To improve the quality of a citizen science project’s outcomes it would be useful to account for inter-observer variation, and to assess the rarely tested presumption that participating...

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