This publication is protected and can be accessed only from certain IPs.
This publication is protected and can be accessed only from certain IPs.

Title: Birds breeding in a changing farmland


Schifferli, Luc

Date issued/created:


Resource Type:



Acta Ornithologica, vol. 36, no. 1 ; Ptaki lęgowe wobec zmian w rolnictwie


Polska Akademia Nauk. Muzeum i Instytut Zoologii ; Meeting of the European Ornithologists' Union (2 ; 1999 ; Gdańsk)


Muzeum i Instytut Zoologii PAN

Place of publishing:



Referat wygłoszony na Second Meeting of the European Ornithologists' Union ; Bibliogr. p. 45-51 ; P. [35]-51 : ill. ; 27 cm ; Abstract in Polish. Taxa in Latin


As a result of intensified agriculture, farmland in Europe is the habitat where the most pronounced changes have occurred in recent decades. In parallel, breeding populations of birds have been declining over much of Europe. Today, farmland has the largest proportion of Red-List species. This paper reviews studies on the impact of agriculture on birds breeding in the farmland ecosystems of Europe: breeding bird density in relation to farming practice, effects of agriculture on foraging and feeding ecology while rearing young, and consequences for breeding success. Specialised bird species are most affected by farming practice. They are rare or even absent in intensively managed farmland with a much reduced habitat and structural diversity. As crops grow fast and as their vegetation is very dense, large fields become inaccessible to or unprofitable for ground feeding birds. To exploit alternative food resources, parents feeding nestlings have to cover larger distances to isolated and distant food patches. Reduced food availability in modern farmland and increased time and energy costs of foraging may result in lower body conditions of parent birds and their broods, in a reduced breeding success and lower survival. Some species breeding in intensively farmed areas are at least locally unable to produce sufficient recruits to maintain their numbers in the long term. Our knowledge of the breeding ecology and population dynamics of farmland birds is growing, but it is still based mainly on short-term and small-scale case studies on a few species. Little is known about whether measures to improve habitat quality (e.g. set-asides) are adequate to halt negative trends in bird populations. Hence, there is a need for internationally coordinated scientific work with important implications for conservation.


Acta Ornithologica





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MiIZ PAN, call no. P.257, Vol. 36, No 1 ; MiIZ PAN, call no. P.4568, Vol. 36, No 1 ; click here to follow the link


eng ; pol


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Copyright-protected material. Access only on terminals at the Museum and Institute of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, may be used within the limits of statutory user freedoms.

Digitizing institution:

Museum and Institute of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Library of the Museum and Institute of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Projects co-financed by:

Programme Innovative Economy, 2010-2014, Priority Axis 2. R&D infrastructure ; European Union. European Regional Development Fund



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