Project: Interacting impacts of land use and climate changes on ecosystem processes: from cyclic herbivores to predators of conservation concern

Many ecosystems are dominated by regular fluctuations in abundance of grass-eating small rodents, which are prey for many predator species. These ecosystem “heartbeats” have been changing recently, raising concern about their drivers and possible broader effects on ecosystems. The Ecocycles team has studied the causes and consequences of changing rodent abundance cycles, by testing that: 1. There has been strong changes in small rodent cycles during the last decades all over Europe, due to land use and climate change; 2. These changes have disproportionate impacts on the demography of predator species, challenging their viability; 3. These demographic changes in prey and predator species have cascading effects on the whole ecosystem food-web; 4. Conservation measures need to account for these ecosystem “heartbeats”.

Acronym Ecocycles
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Call Biodiversity: Linking Scientific Advancement to Policy and Practice

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
National Centre for Scientific Research - Chizé Centre for Biological Studies Partner France
Spanish National Research Council - Institute of Research in Game Resources Partner Spain
University of Aberdeen - Population Ecology Research Group Coordinator United Kingdom
University of Tromsø - Department of Arctic and Marine Biology Partner Norway
University of Valladolid - Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenierías Agrarias Partner Spain