Anticipation of common buzzard population patterns in the changing UK landscape

Arraut, Eduardo M.; Walls, Sean W.; Macdonald, David W.; Kenward, Robert E. ORCID: 2021 Anticipation of common buzzard population patterns in the changing UK landscape. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 288 (1952), 20210993. 10, pp.

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Harmonious coexistence between humans, other animals and ecosystem services they support is a complex issue, typically impacted by landscape change, which affects animal distribution and abundance. In the last 30 years, afforestation on grasslands across Great Britain has been increasing, motivated by socio-economic reasons and climate change mitigation. Beyond expected benefits, an obvious question is what are the consequences for wider biodiversity of this scale of landscape change. Here, we explore the impact of such change on the expanding population of common buzzards Buteo buteo, a raptor with a history of human-induced setbacks. Using Resource-Area-Dependence Analysis (RADA), with which we estimated individuals' resource needs using 10-day radio-tracking sessions and the 1990s Land Cover Map of GB, and agent-based modelling, we predict that buzzards in our study area in lowland UK had fully recovered (to 2.2 ind km−2) by 1995. We also anticipate that the conversion of 30%, 60% and 90% of economically viable meadow into woodland would reduce buzzard abundance nonlinearly by 15%, 38% and 74%, respectively. The same approach used here could allow for cost-effective anticipation of other animals' population patterns in changing landscapes, thus helping to harmonize economy, landscape change and biodiversity.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 0962-8452
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: future landscape, ecosystem management, complex system, individual-based modelling, home-range, remote sensing
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 08 Jul 2021 14:49 +0 (UTC)

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