The team, led by Dr Mark Whittingham of Newcastle University's School of Biology and partners*, suggest that current UK agri-environment schemes have worked well when targeted at the needs of such rare and localised species as corncrakes and stone curlews.
However, being able to reverse the declines of more widespread species such as skylarks and yellowhammers will depend on better matching of habitat management to the different landscapes in which these birds are found.
The new research, published in the current edition of the academic journal Ecology Letters, is based on a survey of 42 sites in England and Wales.
With the help of volunteer birdwatchers, researchers mapped the farmland environment at each site, and recorded the variety and number of nesting birds to see if there was any relationship between the two.
The team found there were variations from region to region, suggesting that agri-environment measures that were more carefully tailored to take account of this variation could be more successful.
Dr Whittingham said: “Previous research shows that although these schemes have reversed declines of rare species found only in limited areas, they have yet to prove capable of doing the same for more widespread species found in a variety of landscapes.”
“We believe the design and implementation of agri-environment schemes needs to be more sensitive to regional differences. A menu of management options which suits the needs of wildlife in Devon, for example, may not meet the needs of biodiversity in East Anglia,” added Dr Whittingham, who carried out much of the work while a researcher at Oxford University.
UK farmers can apply for money to the Government to run agri-environment schemes on their land, which are set up to maintain biodiversity of species and also to enhance and maintain the countryside environment generally.
European agri-environment schemes received 24 billion euros in funding from 1992 to 2003 and in England £123 million has been spent on one scheme alone so far (the Environmental Stewardship scheme - Entry Level Scheme).
A typical scheme may involve farmers planting and maintaining hedgerows, limiting pesticide use, providing seed supplies for birds over winter, and leaving uncultivated margins around fields to provide habitats for flowers and insects.
* Full list of partners: Newcastle University; University of Oxford; Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Cambridgeshire; British Trust for Ornithology; Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB); University of Sheffield.
Claire Jordan | alfa
Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München
Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
14.08.2018 | Information Technology
14.08.2018 | Life Sciences
14.08.2018 | Life Sciences