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Modelling effects on farmland food webs of herbicide and insecticide management II - CB02012

This project is one of two (the other is with the University of East Anglia) critically analysing existing food supply/farmland bird response models and modelling approaches. The aim of these contracts is to carry out an analysis of certain critical gaps and to construct a model or models that could be used to extrapolate the effects on farmland birds of herbicide and insecticide management systems on the availability of plant and animal food resources available to foraging birds in the agricultural ecosystem.

Many species of farmland bird have undergone rapid population declines and range contractions in the last 25 years, largely as a result of agricultural intensification. Growing evidence suggests that one important reason for this is that changes in farming practices have had a negative impact on food availability for many birds. There is a growing need to understand the causes of the population declines in order to prevent further declines and to develop management techniques to conserve and enhance bird populations on arable land.

- Assemble available information on the dynamics of weed species seed populations over winter in arable fields.
- Identify further work on functional responses of birds (on different substrates) necessary for the wider applicability of the resource limitation (depletion) model.
- To construct a model that could be used to predict the effects of herbicide and insecticide management systems on plant and invertebrate bird food resources and foraging birds in the breeding season and during winter.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Modelling effects on farmland food webs of herbicide and insecticide management II   (319k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2002

To: 2003

Cost: £138,512
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Natural Environment Research Council
Agricultural Land              
Environmental Protection              
GM Non-Food              
GM Risk Assessment              
Herbicide use              
Insecticide use              
Wildlife conservation              
Fields of Study
Biotechnology and GMOs