Our study on amphibians and reptiles in the agricultural fields of Europe published in Landscape Ecology

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January 27, 2023


COST Action PERIAMAR has a new output! Two STSMs visiting dr. Neftali Sillero in Portugal yielded in a published paper titled Distribution of amphibians and reptiles in agricultural landscape across Europe in Landscape Ecology Journal.

How many species of amphibians and reptiles live in the agriculture fields of Europe? To answer this question, an international team of researchers working at the COST action PERIAMAR, analysed the distribution of amphibians and reptiles in Europe at three spatial scales: 50 km2, 10 km2, and GPS resolution. They found 71 amphibians and 143 reptiles at 50 and 10 ­km2 spatial resolutions, and 58 amphibians and 108 reptiles at GPS resolution. The presence of amphibians and reptiles and the total number of species are influenced by crop category, extent and heterogeneity. Areas with a higher heterogeneity of crops host more species of amphibians and reptiles. And there are less species in smaller crops. Europe is a region with a long history of human occupation and settlement. Humans has practiced agriculture since thousands of years ago. European biodiversity has been in consequence strongly changed and deprived by agriculture activities. For these reasons, these results are essential for future risk assessments for both groups of animals and for conservation efforts to restore or sustain biodiversity in agricultural systems across Europe.