Farmland biodiversity may have declined because agricultural intensification has reduced ecological hetero¬geneity at multiple spatial scales. By developing agri-environment schemes that support restoration of hetero¬geneity, farmland biodiversity can be restored. To this end the spatial scale at which ecological heterogeneity is important must be determined. The aim of this project is to determine consequences of farmland habitat heterogeneity at multiple spatial scales for bird population persistence. I will investigate how birds respond to variation in habitat heterogeneity at different spatial scales, how this affects fitness and translates into spatial variation in population sizes. The project tests the following hypotheses:
a. Farmland bird diversity, abundance and fitness are positively affected by high habitat heterogeneity at the spatial scales of fields, farms and landscapes.
b. Consequences for bird populations of habitat heterogeneity at one spatial scale depend on habitat heterogeneity at other spatial scales.
c. Farmland habitat heterogeneity results in farmland bird populations being structured into demographic sources and sinks.
Last modified 15 Dec 2011