25 Works

Reliably predicting pollinator abundance: challenges of calibrating process-based ecological models

Emma Gardner, Tom Breeze, Yann Clough, Henrik Smith, Katherine Baldock, Alistair Campbell, Michael Garratt, Mark Gillespie, William Kunin, Megan McKerchar, Jane Memmott, Simon Potts, Deepa Senapathi, Graham Stone, Felix Wäckers, Duncan Westbury, Andrew Wilby & Thomas Oliver
1. Pollination is a key ecosystem service for global agriculture but evidence of pollinator population declines is growing. Reliable spatial modelling of pollinator abundance is essential if we are to identify areas at risk of pollination service deficit and effectively target resources to support pollinator populations. Many models exist which predict pollinator abundance but few have been calibrated against observational data from multiple habitats to ensure their predictions are accurate. 2. We selected the most...

The effectiveness of flower strips and hedgerows on pest control, pollination services and crop yield: a quantitative synthesis

Matthias Albrecht, David Kleijn, Neal Williams, Matthias Tschumi, Brett Blaauw, Riccardo Bommarco, Alistair Campbell, Matteo Dainese, Frank Drummond, Martin Entling, Dominik Ganser, Arjen De Groot, David Goulson, Heather Grab, Hannah Hamilton, Felix Herzog, Rufus Isaacs, Katja Jacot, Philippe Jeanneret, Mattias Jonsson, Eva Knop, Claire Kremen, Doug Landis, Greg Loeb, Lorenzo Marini … & Louis Sutter
Floral plantings are promoted to foster ecological intensification of agriculture through provisioning of ecosystem services. However, a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of different floral plantings, their characteristics and consequences for crop yield is lacking. Here we quantified the impacts of flower strips and hedgerows on pest control (18 studies) and pollination services (17 studies) in adjacent crops in North America, Europe and New Zealand. Flower strips, but not hedgerows, enhanced pest control services in...

Feed and water intake

Sadjad Danesh Mesgaran, Björn Kuhla, David Humphries, Martin Weisbjerg, Peter Lund, Emer Kennedy, Michael O'Donovan, Michelle Liddane, Norann Galvin, Jan Dijkstra & René Baumont
Knowledge about dry matter intake (DMI) is a very important element in cattle management. Modern, high producing dairy cows require great amount of feed in order to meet the nutrient and energy requirements for maintenance and milk production, particularly during early lactation. In beef animals, current breeding strategies aim to select animals with low residual feed intake. Therefore, individual feed intake evaluation helps to identify the productivity and efficiency of each animal, in relation to...

Respiratory chamber facility

Sadjad Danesh Mesgaran, Michael Derno, Björn Kuhla, Karen Beauchemin, Cécile Martin, Anne Louise Frydendahl Hellwing, Peter Lund, Gemma Miller, David Humphries & Marcel Heetkamp
This guideline will highlight the key steps required when measuring gas exchange of cattle for the estimation of methane emission and heat production (by estimating the relation of emitted CO2 and CH4 to the consumed O2) via a respiration chamber (RC). The authors acknowledge the variation in RC design in different experimental units, and therefore, the mentioned steps within this guideline are common and essential for all. Note that a CO2 and/or CH4 recovery test...

Building open lab hardware to tackle antimicrobial resistance

Stephanie Bull, Sarah Needs & Al Edwards
Microbiological imaging can be lengthy and labour-intensive without expensive lab-automation. Using Open Source hardware and software, Dr Al Edwards’ Biomedical Technology Lab designed a robot to take high-resolution images of experiments capturing changes in colour and fluorescence due to bacterial growth. This affordable solution has increased the Lab’s capability to image and screen samples with higher throughput, accuracy, and more kinetic data. The system is fully customisable to suit any imaging experiment and costs only...

The gas recovery test of respiratory chambers

Sadjad Danesh Mesgaran, Anne Louise Frydendahl Hellwing, Peter Lund, Michael Derno, Björn Kuhla, Marcel Heetkamp, Gemma Miller, David Humphries, Frederic Anglard, Yvanne Rochette, Cécile Martin, Tom Gardiner & Marc Coleman
Respiratory Chambers (RCs) were originally constructed with the purpose to study heat production from animals by quantifying oxygen (O2) consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) production (initially detailed in the 18th century by Lavoisier and Leplace. Enteric methane (CH4) is measured in calorimetry studies, as CH4 is an energy loss. The RC can therefore be used to quantify the CH4 production from animals, and many new RC units have been constructed during the last decades with...

Data from: A critical analysis of the potential for EU Common Agricultural Policy measures to support wild pollinators on farmland

Lorna Cole, David Kleijn, Lynn Dicks, Jane Stout, Simon Potts, Matthias Albrecht, Mario Balzan, Ignasi Bartomeus, Penelope Bebeli, Danilo Bevk, Jacobus Biesmeijer, Róbert Chlebo, Anželika Dautartė, Nikolaos Emmanouil, Chris Hartfield, John Holland, Andrea Holzschuh, Nieke Knoben, Anikó Kovács-Hostyánszki, Yael Mandelik, Heleni Panou, Robert Paxton, Theodora Petanidou, Miguel Pinheiro De Carvalho, … & Jeroen Scheper
1. Agricultural intensification and associated loss of high-quality habitats are key drivers of insect pollinator declines. With the aim of decreasing the environmental impact of agriculture, the 2014 EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) defined a set of habitat and landscape features (Ecological Focus Areas: EFAs) farmers could select from as a requirement to receive basic farm payments. To inform the post-2020 CAP, we performed a European-scale evaluation to determine how different EFA options vary in...

Rethinking megafauna

Marcos Moleón, José Sánchez-Zapata, José Donázar, Eloy Revilla, Berta Martín-López, Cayetano Gutiérrez-Cánovas, Wayne Getz, Zebensui Morales-Reyes, Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz, Larry Crowder, Mauro Galetti, Manuela González-Suárez, Fengzhi He, Pedro Jordano, Rebecca Lewison, Robin Naidoo, Norman Owen-Smith, Nuria Selva, Jens-Christian Svenning, José Tella, Christiane Zarfl, Sonja Jähnig, Matt Hayward, Søren Faurby, Nuria García … & Klement Tochner
Concern for megafauna is increasing among scientists and non-scientists. Many studies have emphasized that megafauna play prominent ecological roles and provide important ecosystem services to humanity. But, what precisely are “megafauna”? Here we critically assess the concept of megafauna and propose a goal-oriented framework for megafaunal research. First, we review definitions of megafauna and analyze associated terminology in the scientific literature. Second, we conduct a survey among ecologists and paleontologists to assess the species traits...

Evaluating a trait-based approach to compare natural enemy and pest communities in agroforestry versus arable systems

Tom Staton, Richard Walters, Jo Smith, Tom Breeze & Robbie Girling
Diversified farming systems, for example those that incorporate agroforestry elements, have been proposed as a solution that could maintain and improve multiple ecosystem services. However, habitat diversification in and around arable fields has complex and inconsistent effects on invertebrate crop pests and their natural enemies. This hinders the development of policy recommendations to promote the adoption of such management strategies for the provision of natural pest control services. Here, for the first time we conducted...

Is mere exposure enough? the effects of bilingual environments on infant cognitive development

Dean D'Souza, Daniel Brady, Jennifer Haensel & Hana D'Souza
Bilinguals purportedly outperform monolinguals in nonverbal tasks of cognitive control (the ‘bilingual advantage’). The most common explanation is that managing two languages during language production constantly draws upon, and thus strengthens, domain general inhibitory mechanisms (Green, 1998). However, this theory cannot explain why a bilingual advantage has been found in preverbal infants (Kovacs & Mehler, 2009). An alternative explanation is needed. We propose that exposure to more varied, less predictable (language) environments drive infants to...

Female-driven intersexual coevolution in beetle genitalia

Bruno Genevcius, Joanna Baker, Filipe Bianchi & Adriana Marvaldi
Genital coevolution is a pervasive phenomenon as changes in one sex tend to impose fitness consequences on the other generating sexual conflict. Sexual conflict is often thought to cause stronger selection on males due to the Darwin-Bateman’s anisogamy paradigm. However, recent studies have demonstrated that female genitalia may be equally elaborated and perform diverse extra-copulatory functions. These characteristics suggest that female genitals can also be primary targets of selection, especially where natural selection acts on...

The global critical frequency foEs data derived from the FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC S4max for the period 2006 to 2014

Bingkun Yu, Christopher Scott, Xianghui Xue, Xinan Yue & Xiankang Dou
The ionospheric sporadic E (Es) layer has a significant impact on the Global Positioning System (GPS)/Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals. These influences on the GPS/GNSS signals can also be used to study the occurrence and characteristics of the Es layer on a global scale. In this paper, 5.8 million radio occultation (RO) profiles from the FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC satellite mission and ground-based observations of Es layers recorded by 25 ionospheric monitoring stations and held at the...

Nutrient digestibility and balance studies

Sadjad Danesh Mesgaran, Björn Kuhla, René Baumont, Gonzalo Cantalapiedra-Hijar, Pierre Noziére, Peter Lund, David Humphries & Jan Dijkstra
The nutritional value of a feed for cattle depends on its nutrient and energy contents, the extent of rumen fermentation and degradation, and the post-ruminal digestibility. Efficiency of digestion depends on different factors, for example, the apparent digestibility (estimated by subtracting the nutrients contained in faeces from the nutrients contained in dietary intake – unlike true digestibility where the endogenous and microbial amount is taken into account and corrected in final outcome) usually decreases when...

Brewing up a storm: developing Open Research culture through ReproducibiliTea

Lily FitzGibbon, Daniel Brady, Anthony Haffey, Vanessa Kurdi, Johnny Lau, Jasmine Raw, Etienne Roesch & Brendan Williams
ReproducibiliTea Reading is a group of researchers and students who meet regularly to discuss Open Research practice. Our aim is to reduce the perceived costs of adopting open and reproducible practices by increasing Open Research literacy. We have developed our technical skills and promoted open practices that have been taken up in our research. We are also exploring ways in which Open Research objectives can be integrated into student learning activities and researcher incentives.

Increasing research impact and visibility from day one: the benefits of Open Research for PhD students

Marcello De Maria
Dr Marcello De Maria – who recently completed his PhD at the University and is now a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development – highlights how using open practices during his PhD improved his research and supported his professional development. Open Access publications, Open Data, Open Source software and Open Research networks can be harnessed by PhD students and young researchers to build a competitive advantage from the very beginning of...

Data from: Pollinator Monitoring More than Pays for Itself

Tom Breeze
Resilient pollination services depend on sufficient abundance of pollinating insects over time. Currently, however, most knowledge about the status and trends of pollinators is based on changes in pollinator species richness and distribution only. Systematic, long-term monitoring of pollinators is urgently needed to provide baseline information on their status, to identify the drivers of declines and to inform suitable response measures. We evaluated the full economic costs of implementing four potential national monitoring schemes in...

Data from: Multiple environmental controls explain global patterns in soil animal communities

Alice S. A. Johnston & Richard M. Sibly
Synthesis of soil animal community mass-abundance measurements reported in thirteen ecosystems ranging from arctic tundra to tropical rainforest. Soil animal groups include Nematoda, Collembola, Enchytraeidae, Acari, Diptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Isopoda, Chilopoda, Araneae, Blattodea, Diplopoda, Gastropoda, Clitellata or Other groups. The dataset provides abundance and mass measurements per study and soil animal group, summarised from the raw soil community dataset (Nraw = 1503). Data were summarised for soil animal groups and study years. The summarised dataset...

Global Soybean Trade – The Geopolitics of a Bean

Marcello De Maria, Elizabeth Robinson, Joseph Rajabu Kangile, Reuben MJ Kadigi, Ilda Dreoni, Matheus Couto, Niko Howai, Jurgen Peci & Sicily Fiennes
This report, which is the result of collaborative effort within the Trade Hub project, explores the multiplicity of issues associated with the so-called ‘soybean miracle’, both from a global and a local perspective. With a comprehensive review of the available literature and data, and with country-specific summaries for Tanzania, Brazil and China, this study retraces the historical moments that contributed to make soybean a ‘global flexible crop’, increasingly appreciated and demanded for its versatility all...

Greenfeed systems

Cécile Martin, Yvanne Rochette, David Humphries & Gilles Renand
The GreenFeed (GF) system spot samples the breath of individual animals for short periods (3–7 min), at various times of the day, over several days, weeks, or months to measure methane production. To obtain a diurnal CH4 emission pattern from the GF system, the animal visits need to be appropriately distributed over a 24 h feeding cycle. This can be difficult to achieve as the number of visits is greater during certain hours of the...

Lameness detection and scoring

Sadjad Danesh Mesgaran, Juan Haladjian, Stefan Nüske, Dorothée Ledoux, Dave Humphries, Lene Munksgaard & Isabelle Veissier
Enting concluded lameness, from an economic perspective, as the third most costly health disease, following mastitis and reproductive failure issues, in cattle units. Archer estimated the incidence rate of lameness in the United Kingdom cattle herds roughly 50 cases/100 cows in a year; nevertheless, due to poor correlation between incidence rates and records of treatments in farms, the actual number seems to be higher. Surprisingly, the significance of lameness associated with cattle welfare, health and...

Data from: Cancer cell lines show high heritability for motility but not generation time

Ana Wass, George Butler, Tiffany Taylor, Louise Johnson & Philip Dash
Tumour evolution depends on heritable differences between cells in traits affecting cell survival or replication. It is well-established that cancer cells are genetically and phenotypically heterogeneous; however, the extent to which this phenotypic variation is heritable is far less well-explored. Here we estimate the broad-sense heritability (H2) of two cell traits related to cancer hallmarks - cell motility and generation time - within populations of four cancer cell lines in vitro, and find that motility...

Modelling the distribution of Amazonian tree species in response to long-term climate change during the mid-late Holocene

Vitor Gomes, Francis Mayle, William Gosling, Ima Vieira, Rafael Salomão & Hans Ter Steege
Aim: To (a) assess the environmental suitability for rainforest tree species of Moraceae and Urticaceae across Amazonia during the Mid-Late Holocene and (b) determine the extent to which their distributions increased in response to long-term climate change over this period. Location: Amazonia. Methods: We used MaxEnt and inverse distance weighting interpolation to produce environmental suitability and relative abundance models at 0.5-degree resolution for tree species of Moraceae and Urticaceae, based on natural history collections and...

Data from: Global vegetation patterns of the past 140,000 years

Judy Allen, Matthew Forrest, Thomas Hickler, Joy Singarayer, Paul Valdes & Brian Huntley
Aim Insight into global biome responses to climatic and other environmental changes is essential to address key questions about past and future impacts of such changes. By simulating global biome patterns 140 ka to present we aimed to address important questions about biome changes during this interval. Location Global. Taxon Plantae. Methods Using the LPJ-GUESS dynamic global vegetation model, we made 89 simulations driven using ice-core atmospheric CO2 concentrations, Earth’s obliquity, and outputs from a...

Teaching and learning in ecology: a horizon scan of emerging challenges and solutions

Zenobia Lewis, Julia Cooke, Yoseph Araya, Karen Bacon, Joanna Bagniewska, Lesley Batty, Tom Bishop, Moya Burns, Magda Charalambous, David Daversa, Liam Dougherty, Miranda Dyson, Adam Fisher, Dan Forman, Cristina Garcia, Ewan Harney, Thomas Hesselberg, Elizabeth John, Robert Knell, Kadmiel Maseyk, Alice Mauchline, Julie Peacock, Angelo Pernetto, Jeremy Pritchard, William Sutherland … & Nicholas Worsfold
We currently face significant, anthropogenic, global environmental challenges and therole of ecologists in mitigating these challenges is arguably more important than ever. Consequently there is an urgent need to recruit and train future generations of ecologists, both those whose main area is ecology, but also those involved in the geological, biological and environmental sciences. Here we present the results of a horizon scanning exercise that identified current and future challenges facing the teaching of ecology,...

Registration Year

  • 2020

Resource Types

  • Dataset
  • Text


  • University of Reading
  • Aarhus University
  • Wageningen University & Research
  • National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment
  • University of Clermont Auvergne
  • Lund University
  • Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology
  • Scotland's Rural College
  • University of Bath
  • Estación Biológica de Doñana