White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Birds and people in Europe

Gaston, K.J. and Evans, K.L. (2004) Birds and people in Europe. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 271 (1548). pp. 1649-1655. ISSN 1471-2954


Download (103Kb)


At a regional scale, species richness and human population size are frequently positively correlated across space. Such patterns may arise because both species richness and human density increase with energy availability. If the species-energy relationship is generated through the 'more individuals' hypothesis, then the prediction is that areas with high human densities will also support greater numbers of individuals from other taxa. We use the unique data available for the breeding birds in Europe to test this prediction.

Overall regional densities of bird species are higher in areas with more people; species of conservation concern exhibit the same pattern. Avian density also increases faster with human density than does avian biomass, indicating that areas with a higher human density have a higher proportion of small-bodied individuals. The analyses also underline the low numbers of breeding birds in Europe relative to humans, with a median of just three individual birds per person, and 4 g of bird for every kilogram of human.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © Royal Society, 2004. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Birds, Europe, Humans, More Individuals Hypothesis, Population Density, Body Size
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > School of Biological Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Assistant
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 21:22
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2004.2782
Status: Published
Publisher: The Royal Society
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1098/rspb.2004.2782
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1348

Actions (repository staff only: login required)