Project: Towards monitoring, understanding and forecasting global biomass flows of aerial migrants

Acronym GloBAM (Reference Number: 26)
Duration 30/12/2018 - 31/03/2022
Project Topic Every year, trillions of migratory insects and birds, encompassing thousands of tons of animal biomass, move through the air within and across continents. Migrants represent a powerful yet underappreciated dimension of biodiversity as they connect distant ecosystems, alter nutrient and energy flow, food-web topology and stability, and provide a multitude of services and disservices to human economy, agriculture and health. Over the past year, many migrant populations have alarmingly declined and their aerial and terrestrial habitats have changed dramatically, particularly from rapid climate change, increased urbanization and massive extensions of artificial light and wind energy installations. With GloBAM, we aim at making a major step forward in characterizing and quantifying the biomass flows of aerial migrants from regional to continental scales in Europe and North America and over time-scales from days to years from existing continental-scale networks of weather radars. In a quest for the indirect and direct drivers of movements and migrant abundances, we will relate the timing (phenology), intensity and spatial patterns of movements to a suite of relevant atmospheric, climatic and landscape/habitat variables: We will analyse how changes in climatic conditions influence phenology of migration, changes in weather influence flight conditions and human-induced habitat changes, such as artificial light and wind energy installations influence spatio-temporal patterns of migration. We will also develop scenarios of potential future changes in these drivers to project how this may impact migration in the future, and estimate the implications of mass migrations for biomass and nutrient flows as important ecosystem functions. Current information and future projections of insect and avian biomass flows are highly relevant for a broad range of stakeholders in agriculture, conservation, health, aviation safety, sustainable energy and to address scientific and societal challenges alike.
Website visit project website
Network BiodivScen
Call Scenarios of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Swiss Ornithological Institute Coordinator Switzerland
2 University of Exeter Partner United Kingdom
3 Cornell Lab of Ornithology Partner United States
4 Finnish Meteorological Institute Partner Finland
5 Research Institute for Nature and Forest Partner Belgium
6 University of Amsterdam Partner Netherlands