Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Study Reveals Birds Flock To Green Lanes

19.10.2005


Green lanes(1) are significantly more attractive to birds than your average hedgerow, according to the findings of new research from Staffordshire University.



The study was conducted by PhD student Mike Walker who carried out the research in Cheshire over three years.

Mike found green lanes had almost treble the number of bird species as hedgerows. As green lanes are made of two parallel hedges he compared the abundance of birds in 50 metres of green lane with 100 metres of hedgerow; amazingly there were almost double the number of birds in green lanes.


For the purpose of the study a green lane was defined as an unmetalled(2) track bordered on each side by a hedgerow running through farmland and used by farm vehicles, livestock or horses and measuring between two and 15 metres in width.

During the sampling period 39 species of bird were recorded on green lanes and 27 species were recorded on single hedgerows. There were also significantly greater numbers of all birds recorded in green lanes than single hedgerows.

Mike, who was supported by the University’s Institute for Environment and Sustainability Research, said: “Perhaps the most striking finding is the massive increase in both the numbers and kind of birds we have seen on green lanes.

“Common birds have been declining on farmland so it is really good news to have found that such a simple structure as a green lane can have such a benefit. Many of the birds we have been seeing are typical of woodland edge and green lanes may resemble this habitat more closely than single hedgerows.”

The findings re-enforce the case to protect green lanes, which are not yet recognised as special landscape features and which are only afforded loose protection under current hedgerow regulations.

In his paper entitled ‘Birds and green lanes: Breeding season bird abundance, territories and species richness’ Mike talks of the need to preserve the “unsealed nature” of green lanes while at the same time maintaining usage to prevent “scrubbing up and the eventual formation of linear woodland.”

Senior lecturer in Ecology, Dr John Dover, who has lead much of the research carried out on green lanes, said: “We know from earlier studies that vegetation is better in green lanes and that butterflies and bumble bees are more abundant.”

“However the findings of this latest research are so significant I’m tempted to use the word stonking. It makes it very clear that we should retain green lanes and manage them sympathetically. There is also a case for creating new ones.”

John said that as well as the obvious benefit to wildlife, there might be implications for the farming community as green lanes, like beetle banks(3), might act as reservoirs or havens for natural biological control agents such as predatory beetles, bugs and hoverflies helping to reduce the reliance on insecticides.

He added: “In order to uncover their role as promoters of green pest control we need to do more research.”

Mike’s paper is published in the journal Biological Conservation volume 126, pages 540-547 available online at www.sciencedirect.com

Maria Scrivens | alfa
Further information:
http://www.staffs.ac.uk
http://www.sciencedirect.com

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
24.07.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht Plenty of habitat for bears in Europe
24.07.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

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...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

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....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

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...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>