Contact Information:

Media Contact

Joseph Caputo

Twitter: CellPressNews

Kredyty mieszkaniowe Kredyty mieszkaniowe

Sprawdź aktualny ranking najlepszych kredytów mieszkaniowych w Polsce - atrakcyjne kredytowanie nieruchomości. - Press Release Distribution
RSS - Press News Release
Add Press Release

Could more intensive farming practices benefit tropical birds?

Could more intensive farming practices benefit tropical birds?
( The world is facing an extinction crisis as more and more forests are converted into farmland. But does it help when farms share the land with birds and other animals?

The short answer is "no," according to new evidence based on the diversity of bird species reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on September 3. If the goal is to preserve more bird species, representing a greater span of evolutionary history, then it's better to farm more intensively in some areas while leaving more blocks of land entirely alone. In other words, land-sparing wins out over land-sharing.

"I think the most surprising result is that species richness within communities does not explain the loss of phylogenetic diversity under land-sharing," says David Edwards of The University of Sheffield. "So even if farming at low intensity over a larger area retains the number of species present, those species are less evolutionarily distinct and thus preserve less phylogenetic diversity."

Edwards and his colleagues examined this question of farming practices in the Chocó-Andes of Colombia, a global hotspot for birds, including many species that can't be found anywhere else. It's also a place where tropical cloudforest landscapes are threatened by widespread pastures for cattle.

"The Chocó-Andes are a hotspot of endemism and have been widely impacted by low-intensity farming, making this one of the most threatened faunas on Earth," Edwards says. "It is vital to consider how best to farm here, but also to use this region as a model for how best to farm in other locations."

The researchers sampled birds in three study areas, each containing contiguous forest and cattle farms. While they found many bird species living within low-intensity farmland communities, those areas showed a loss of more than 650 million years of evolutionary history in comparison to the forest.

Edwards and his colleagues then used landscape simulations to examine the outcomes of land-sharing versus land-sparing practices. Their analyses show that land-sharing becomes increasingly inferior to land-sparing as the distance from intact forest grows. Isolation from forest also leads to the loss of more evolutionarily distinct species from communities within land-sharing landscapes, which can be avoided with effective land-sparing.

Edwards's team concludes that "land-sharing policies that promote the integration of small-scale wildlife-friendly habitats might be of limited benefit without the simultaneous protection of larger blocks of natural habitat, which is most likely to be achieved via land-sparing measures."

There's plenty of work to do in order to simultaneously protect natural habitats and boost farm yields. Sustainability initiatives for oil palm, soy, and other crops now take a land-sharing approach by requiring the protection of biodiversity within tropical farmland.

"My feeling is that land-sparing-type approaches--such as biodiversity offsets, which can protect larger tracts of natural habitat--are gaining traction, but there is a long way to go for expansion of such policies writ large," Edwards says.


Funding was provided by the Research Council of Norway and the Royal Society University Research Fellowship. This is publication #7 of the Biodiversity, Agriculture, and Conservation in Colombia [BACC] project.

Current Biology, Edwards and Gilroy et al.: "Land-Sparing Agriculture Best Protects Avian Phylogenetic Diversity"

Current Biology, published by Cell Press, is a bimonthly journal that features papers across all areas of biology. Current Biology strives to foster communication across fields of biology, both by publishing important findings of general interest and through highly accessible front matter for non-specialists. For more information please visit To receive media alerts for Current Biology or other Cell Press journals, contact

[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Could more intensive farming practices benefit tropical birds? Could more intensive farming practices benefit tropical birds? 2


Health risks of saturated fats aggravated by immune response

High levels of saturated fat in the blood could make an individual more prone to inflammation and tissue damage, a new study suggests. Received wisdom on the health risks of eating saturated fat has been called into question recently. This new research supports the view that excessive consumption of saturated fat can be bad for us. Scientists from Imperial College London studied mice that have an unusually high level of saturated fat circulating in their blood. The research, published today (3 September 2015) in Cell Reports shows that the presence of saturated fats ...

Aspirin could hold the key to supercharged cancer immunotherapy

Giving cancer patients aspirin at the same time as immunotherapy could dramatically boost the effectiveness of the treatment, according to new research published in the journal Cell today (Thursday). Francis Crick Institute researchers, funded by Cancer Research UK, have shown that skin, breast and bowel cancer cells often produce large amounts of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). This molecule dampens down the immune system's normal response to attack faulty cells, which helps cancer to hide. It is a trick that allows the tumour to thrive and may explain why some immunotherapy ...

Laughter, then love: Study explores why humor is important in romantic attraction

LAWRENCE - Men might want to ditch the pickup lines and polish their punchlines in their quest to attract women, new research at the University of Kansas suggests. Jeffrey Hall, associate professor of communication studies, found that when two strangers meet, the more times a man tries to be funny and the more a woman laughs at those attempts, the more likely it is for the woman to be interested in dating. However, an even better indicator of romantic connection is if the two are spotted laughing together. Those findings were among the discoveries Hall made in his search ...

New model of cognitive flexibility gives insight into autism spectrum disorder

Coral Gables, Fla. (September 1, 2015) - Cognitive flexibility is the ability to shift our thoughts and adapt our behavior to the changing environment. In other words, it's one's ability to disengage from a previous task and respond effectively to a new one. It's a faculty that most of us take for granted, yet an essential skill to navigate life. In a new paper published in the journal Trends in Neurosciences, University of Miami (UM) College of Arts & Sciences researchers clarify many of the concepts surrounding cognitive flexibility and propose a model of its underlying ...

One step closer to cheaper antivenom

Researchers involved in an international collaboration across six institutions, including the University of Copenhagen and the National Aquarium of Denmark (Den Blå Planet), have successfully identified the exact composition of sea snake venom, which makes the future development of synthetic antivenoms more realistic. Currently, sea snake anitvenom costs nearly USD 2000, yet these new findings could result in a future production of synthetic antivenoms for as little as USD 10-100. Venomous snakebites represent a major health concern in many tropical and subtropical ...

Ice sheets may be more resilient than thought, say Stanford scientists

Ice sheets may be more resilient than thought, say Stanford scientists
Sea level rise poses one of the biggest threats to human systems in a globally warming world, potentially causing trillions of dollars' worth of damages to flooded cities around the world. As surface temperatures rise, ice sheets are melting at record rates and sea levels are rising. But there may be some good news amid the worry. Sea levels may not rise as high as assumed. To predict sea level changes, scientists look to Earth's distant past, when climate conditions were similar to today, and investigate how the planet's ice sheets responded then to warmer temperatures ...

Targeting glucose production in liver may lead to new diabetes therapies

High blood sugar is a defining characteristic of Type 2 diabetes and the cause of many of the condition's complications, including kidney failure, heart disease, and blindness. Most diabetes medications aim to maintain normal blood sugar (glucose) levels and prevent high blood sugar by controlling insulin. A new University of Iowa study shows that another biological checkpoint, known as the Mitochondrial Pyruvate Carrier (MPC), is critical for controlling glucose production in the liver and could potentially be a new target for drugs to treat diabetes. The study, led ...

'Littlest' quark-gluon plasma revealed by physicists using Large Hadron Collider

Littlest quark-gluon plasma revealed by physicists using Large Hadron Collider
LAWRENCE -- Researchers at the University of Kansas working with an international team at the Large Hadron Collider have produced quark-gluon plasma -- a state of matter thought to have existed right at the birth of the universe -- with fewer particles than previously thought possible. The material was discovered by colliding protons with lead nuclei at high energy inside the supercollider's Compact Muon Solenoid detector. Physicists have dubbed the resulting plasma the "littlest liquid." "Before the CMS experimental results, it had been thought the medium created in ...

Study shows that teens lose sleep after change to daylight saving time

DARIEN, IL - A new study shows that high school students lose sleep on school nights following the change to daylight saving time that occurs in March. The loss of sleep during the school week was associated with a decline in vigilance and cognitive function, which raises safety concerns for teen drivers. Results show that the average objectively measured sleep duration on the weeknights after the spring time change declined to 7 hours, 19 minutes, which reflects a mean loss of 32 minutes per night compared with the school week prior to the implementation of daylight ...

Family tree for orchids explains their astonishing variability

Family tree for orchids explains their astonishing variability
MADISON, Wis. - Orchids, a fantastically complicated and diverse group of flowering plants, have long blended the exotic with the beautiful. Most species live on trees, often in remote, tropical mountains. Their flowers can be strange -- one even flowers underground, and many species deceive their pollinators into thinking they are good to eat. Some are florist's staples, like phalaenopsis, the hot-pink and white flower that is easy to grow and easier to sell. Beyond the "job" of looking beautiful, only the vanilla orchids have any commercial role. The estimated ...


How your brain decides blame and punishment -- and how it can be changed

Uniquely human brain region enables punishment decisions

Pinpointing punishment

Chapman University publishes research on attractiveness and mating

E-cigarettes: Special issue from Nicotine & Tobacco Research

Placental problems in early pregnancy associated with 5-fold increased risk of OB & fetal disorders

UT study: Invasive brood parasites a threat to native bird species

Criminals acquire guns through social connections

Restoring ocean health

Report: Cancer remains leading cause of death in US Hispanics

Twin study suggests genetic factors contribute to insomnia in adults

To be fragrant or not: Why do some male hairstreak butterflies lack scent organs?

International team discovers natural defense against HIV

Bolivian biodiversity observatory takes its first steps

Choice of college major influences lifetime earnings more than simply getting a degree

Dominant strain of drug-resistant MRSA decreases in hospitals, but persists in community

Synthetic biology needs robust safety mechanisms before real world application

US defense agencies increase investment in federal synthetic biology research

Robots help to map England's only deep-water Marine Conservation Zone

Mayo researchers identify protein -- may predict who will respond to PD-1 immunotherapy for melanoma

How much water do US fracking operations really use?

New approach to mammograms could improve reliability

The influence of citizen science grows despite some resistance

Unlocking secrets of how fossils form

What happens on the molecular level when smog gets into the lungs?

Using ultrasound to clean medical instruments

Platinum and iron oxide working together get the job done

Tiny silica particles could be used to repair damaged teeth, research shows

A quantum lab for everyone

No way? Charity's logo may influence perception of food in package

[] Could more intensive farming practices benefit tropical birds? is a service of DragonFly Company. All Rights Reserved.
Issuers of news releases are solely responsible for the accuracy of their content.