In the last decades, profound modifications of agricultural practices occurred in Europe, including the introduction of modern livestock farming. These modifications negatively affected the fauna of rural areas, as indicated by the large demographic declines suffered by several populations of birds typical of these habitats. The impact of agricultural practices on bird populations has been widely investigated, while the effect of livestock farming has seldom been assessed. To fill this gap, we carried out a quantitative meta-analysis of the existing scientific literature and evaluated the size of the effects of livestock farming on birds of rural areas in Europe. We only found 26 papers on this topic, from which 72 effect sizes could be estimated. The barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) was the species on which most studies focused. Livestock farming positively influenced presence and distribution of barn swallows in breeding habitats, while it did not significantly affect reproduction of this species. Effects on other bird species typical of rural habitats were non-significant. The positive effect on the insectivorous barn swallow might be mediated by the enhanced insect abundance where livestock is reared. In addition, habitat features typical of rural settings where livestock is reared (e.g. cattle-sheds or large hayfields) positively affected barn swallows independently of actual presence of livestock at a setting. Presence of livestock at rural setting therefore seems beneficial to barn swallows, but not significantly to other bird species typical of rural habitats. The effect of livestock farming on birds of rural habitats has been under-investigated to date.
Effects of livestock farming on birds of rural areas in Europe / F. Musitelli, A. Romano, A.P. Møller, R. Ambrosini. - In: BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION. - ISSN 0960-3115. - 25:4(2016), pp. 615-631.
|Titolo:||Effects of livestock farming on birds of rural areas in Europe|
|Parole Chiave:||Agricultural intensification; Barn swallow; Farmlands; Hierarchical linear models; Livestock farming; Meta-analysis; Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics; Ecology; Nature and Landscape Conservation|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-016-1087-9|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|
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