Roads as a contributor to landscape-scale variation in bird communities
MetadataShow full item record
Altmetrics Handle Statistics
Altmetrics DOI Statistics
Roads and their traffic can affect wildlife over large areas and, in regions with dense road networks, may influence a high proportion of the ecological landscape. We assess the abundance of 75 bird species in relation to roads across Great Britain. Of these, 77% vary significantly in abundance with increasing road exposure, just over half negatively so. The effect distances of these negative associations average 700m from a road, covering over 70% of Great Britain and over 40% of the total area of terrestrial protected sites. Species with smaller national populations generally have lower relative abundance with increasing road exposure, whereas the opposite is true for more common species. Smaller-bodied and migratory species are also more negatively associated with road exposure. By creating environmental conditions that benefit generally common species at the expense of others, road networks may echo other anthropogenic disturbances in bringing about large-scale simplification of avian communities.
Cooke , S C , Balmford , A , Donald , P F , Newson , S E & Johnston , A 2020 , ' Roads as a contributor to landscape-scale variation in bird communities ' , Nature Communications , vol. 11 , 3125 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16899-x
Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.
DescriptionFunding: The BBS is jointly funded by the BTO, JNCC and RSPB. Stuart Newson is supported by the BTO’s Young Scientists’ Programme. Sophia C. Cooke is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (RG81247).
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.