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...
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...
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...
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: 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...
Livestock grazing impacts upon components of the breeding productivity of a common upland insectivorous passerine: results from a long-term experimentLisa E. Malm, James W. Pearce-Higgins, Nick A. Littlewood, Alison J. Karley, Ewa Karaszewska, Robert Jaques, Robin J. Pakeman, Steve M. Redpath & Darren M. Evans
The intensity of pastoral management in areas of High Nature Value farming is declining in some regions of Europe but increasing in others. This affects open habitats of conservation concern, such as the British uplands, where bird species that benefit from low-intensity grazing may be most sensitive to such polarisation. While experimental manipulations of livestock grazing intensities have improved our understanding of upland breeding bird responses in the short-term, none have examined the longer-term impacts...
Data from: Survival varies seasonally in a migratory bird: linkages between breeding and non-breeding periodsRobert Robinson, Christoph Meier, Willem Witvliet, Marc Kery & Michael Schaub
1. Migratory species form an important component of biodiversity; they link ecosystems across the globe, but are increasingly threatened by global environmental change. Understanding and mitigating threats requires knowledge of how demographic processes operate throughout the annual cycle, but this can be difficult to achieve when breeding and non-breeding grounds are widely separated. 2. Our goal is to quantify the importance of variability in survival during the breeding and non-breeding seasons in determining variation in...
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: Evaluating the potential for bird-habitat models to support biodiversity-friendly urban planningKate Plummer, Simon Gillings & Gavin Siriwardena
Urban expansion poses a major threat to wildlife populations. Biodiversity-friendly urban landscapes could deliver benefits for both wildlife and people, by incorporating conservation and ecosystem services objectives. Well-designed urban developments could also soften the ecological impacts of urbanisation. However, delivering urban landscapes that integrate biodiversity requirements effectively remains challenging. Ecological models, designed to predict wildlife population responses to alternative urban designs, could prove effective in supporting the creation of biodiversity-friendly urban landscapes. Here, we combine...
British Trust for Ornithology9
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds2
University of Cambridge2
University of Exeter2
Ecosystèmes, Biodiversité, Evolution1
Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive1
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology1
Centre d'Etudes Biologiques de Chizé1