Project number: 23-07103S
Project title (EN): Towards the understanding of processes responsible for farmland biodiversity loss: insights from Central European birds
Project title (CZ): Cesta k porozumění procesům zodpovědným za úbytek biodiverzity zemědělské krajiny: poučení od ptáků střední Evropy
Project leader: Jiří Reif, PhD, Charles University
Co-applicant FES: Federico Morelli, PhD
Project schedule: 2023 – 2025
Total project budget: 11 837 000 CZK (FES: 4 240 000 CZK)
European farmland hosts substantial biodiversity as a heritage of long-term coexistence of biota with human activities. However, due to abandonment of traditional agricultural practices, farmland biodiversity faces serious crisis. To combat this crisis, our project aims to provide new insights based on deep mechanistic understanding of the key drivers using birds as model organisms. First, we will investigate temporal trajectories of their populations in different Central European countries to detect the large-scale consequences of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy. Second, we will perform in-depth local studies on arable fields linking pesticide and fertilizer application, in-field and surrounding habitat characteristics, insect food supply for birds and field size with farmland bird breeding productivity and abundance to understand the mechanisms of the impacts. Third, we will test the capacity of the new management measures to deliver conservation benefits for farmland birds. Agricultural policy based on these insights can improve the state of European biodiversity.