Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Bugs and birds and landscape complexity

What invertebrates are available to feed nestlings in an agricultural landscape of varied complexity?

2011 - 2016


Short abstract

This study utilizes the data set for the field/edge study and looks at availability of invertebrates utilized as bird food in edges and as it relates to environmental complexity.

Redwing blackbird eggs in the field edge at one of the sampling sites.

Project description

Biodiversity is declining around the globe.  Agricultural intensification is contributing to the decline. Research is necessary to improve biodiversity in agricultural areas.

Birds almost universally feed their young invertebrates. Availability of food is a limiting factor for nestling survival. We are looking at invertebrate richness and diversity as they relate to bird food availability at various levels of landscape complexity. A better understanding of the factors influencing invertebrate species richness and diversity at both local and landscape scales is important for conserving avian diversity within the agricultural landscape.

The aim of this study was to determine if invertebrate richness and diversity in agricultural field interiors and edges in central Illinois, USA, is related to the complexity of the surrounding landscape.

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