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Diversity of birds in relation to land use and climate

Besides being beautiful and interesting, birds are excellent study objects and have been used for answering many ecological questions. In our research we study how the abundance and diversity of birds relate to the surrounding landscape’s characteristics including its land-use and climate.

We are especially interested in how the management of land affect bird diversity and whether instruments, such as EU subsidies, aimed at mitigating negative effects of land-use on biodiversity, are successful. Our aims are to both understand the mechanisms and factors governing bird biodiversity in the managed landscape and to use this knowledge to build predictive models for the relation between management actions and changes to the bird fauna.

The ultimate goal is to provide tools for evaluating alternative actions proposed by decision makers such that they can base their decisions on sound scientific grounds.


Wheatear sitting on a rock. Photo.
The wheatear is a characteristic species of farmland, where it prefers grasslands with rocks.

Our research covers a spectrum from studies on bird communities at regional and national scales down to detailed studies on individual species and populations. We collect data on bird populations from own specifically designed bird surveys but also collaborate with the Swedish Bird Survey using their yearly updated bird surveys with extensive national coverage. On the land-use side we have built up a GIS infrastructure in which the Integrative Administration and Control System (IACS) database from the Swedish Board of Agriculture and various resources from The Swedish Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authority (Lantmäteriet) are used to extract spatially explicit land-use, habitat and subsidy information associated with the area surrounding our study sites.

Within this subject, research is currently carried out in the following projects:

Previous research done within this subject has resulted in the following dissertations and reports: