BESTMAP research: Response of endangered bird species to land-use changes in an agricultural landscape in Germany
A newly published BESTMAP-supported article in the Regional Environmental Change journal, investigates the land-use intensification in agroecosystems that has led to population decline in farmland birds. The research paper has been conducted by a team of leading experts amongst whom are the BESTMAP partners Stephanie Roilo and Prof. Anna Cord from the Technische Universität Dresden, Germany, and Assoc. Prof. Tomas Vaclavik (Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic).
Birds are considered good proxies to measure ecosystem integrity and play vital roles in the structuring and functioning of ecosystems, a decline in their numbers is likely to reduce key ecosystem processes and services such as decomposition, pest control, pollination, and seed dispersal. Therein, the study looks into the impacts of three stakeholder-driven land-use scenarios on the breeding habitat area of 13 regionally endangered bird species in the Middle Mulde River Basin, a rural area in Central Germany.
By applying these models, the paper strives to answer three main questions:
- 1. What are the main environmental variables that determine the habitat of each endangered bird species in the Middle Mulde River Basin?
- 2. How will species-specific habitat area change in the three land-use scenarios?
- 3. Which land-use scenario overall provides the largest habitat area, since all species have different and sometimes contradictory habitat preferences and requirements?
Read the full paper here.