Erlend B. Nilsen

Erlend B. Nilsen
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research | NINA · Department of Terrestrial Ecology

PhD

About

173
Publications
48,841
Reads
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3,754
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2009 - present
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
Position
  • Senior Researcher
August 2006 - January 2009
Hedmark University College
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
August 2003 - August 2006
University of Oslo / Hedmark University College
Field of study
  • Biology (Population Ecology)
August 2000 - May 2002
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Field of study
  • Biology (zoology)

Publications

Publications (173)
Article
Full-text available
Lack proposed that the average clutch size of altricial species should be determined by the average maximum number of young the parents can raise such that all females in a given population should share a common optimal clutch size. Support for this model remains equivocal and recent studies have suggested that intra-population variation in clutch...
Article
Full-text available
1. Predation plays a major role in shaping the structure and dynamics of ecological communities, and the functional response of a predator is of crucial importance to the dynamics of any predator-prey system by linking the trophic levels. For large mammals, there is a dearth of field studies documenting functional responses, and observations at low...
Article
Full-text available
Theoretical models have shown that the effect of removing a given proportion of the population can be profoundly different if the harvest takes place late in the season compared to early. We explore the effect of these differences using theoretical models based on the concept of demographic value and empirical data on seasonal patterns of natural m...
Article
Full-text available
Many conclusions about mammalian ranging behaviour have been drawn based on minimum convex polygon (MCP) estimates of home range size, although several studies have revealed its unpredictable nature compared to that of the kernel density estimator. We investigated to what extent the choice of home range estimator affected the biological interpretat...
Article
Full-text available
In heterogeneous landscapes individuals select among several habitat patches. The fitness rewards of these choices are assumed to play an important role in the distri-bution of individuals across landscapes. Individuals can either use environmental cues to directly assess the quality of breeding sites, or rely on social cues to guide the settlement...
Preprint
Full-text available
Citizen science initiatives and automated collection methods increasingly depend on image recognition in order to provide the amounts of observational data research and management needs. Training recognition models, meanwhile, also requires large amounts of data from these sources, creating a feedback loop between the methods and the tools. Species...
Article
Full-text available
Technological advances and data availability have enabled artificial intelligence-driven tools that can increasingly successfully assist in identifying species from images. Especially within citizen science, an emerging source of information filling the knowledge gaps needed to solve the biodiversity crisis, such tools can allow participants to rec...
Preprint
1. Opportunistic citizen science produces large amounts of primary biodiversity data but is underutilized in the conservation and management of protected areas despite these areas’ status as citizen science hotspots. Application of these data may be limited by the challenge of understanding sampling patterns associated with opportunistic data at a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In this report, we summarize the current state of knowledge and best estimates of how climate change is expected to impact Norwegian forest ecosystems from now to the year 2100
Article
Full-text available
Partial migration, where a portion of the population migrates between winter and summer (breeding) areas and the rest remain year-round resident, is a common phenomenon across several taxonomic groups. Several hypotheses have been put forward to explain why some individuals migrate while others stay resident, as well as the fitness consequences of...
Article
Full-text available
1. Aggregated species occurrence and abundance data from disparate sources are increasingly accessible to ecologists for the analysis of temporal trends in biodiversity. However, sampling biases relevant to any given research question are often poorly explored and infrequently reported; this can undermine statistical inference. In other disciplines...
Preprint
Full-text available
Technological advances and data availability have enabled artificial intelligence-driven tools that can increasingly successfully assist in identifying species from images. Especially within citizen science, an emerging source of information filling the knowledge gaps needed to solve the biodiversity crisis, such tools can allow participants to rec...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Scientific Opinion of the panel on Alien Organisms and Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). ISBN: 978-82-8259-382-3, ISSN: 2535-4019. Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM), Oslo, Norway.
Preprint
1)Estimates of species’ population abundances have important ramifications for conservation decision-making. Conservation practice, however, often has to rely on indices of relative abundance rather than absolute estimates. Attempts to estimate large-scale abundance estimates of species are limited by both the availability of data and statistical c...
Article
Full-text available
Recovering or threatened carnivore populations are often harvested to minimise their impact on human activities, such as livestock farming or game hunting. Increasingly, harvest quota decisions involve a set of scientific, administrative and political institutions operating at national and sub‐national levels whose interactions and collective decis...
Preprint
Full-text available
1. Aggregated species occurrence and abundance data from disparate sources are increasingly accessible to ecologists for the analysis of temporal trends in biodiversity. However, sampling biases relevant to any given research question are often poorly explored and infrequently reported; this has the potential to undermine statistical inference. In...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable wildlife harvest is challenging due to the complexity of uncertain social-ecological systems, and diverse stakeholder perspectives of sustainability. In these systems, semi-complex stochastic simulation models can provide heuristics that bridge the gap between highly simplified theoretical models and highly context-specific case-studies...
Article
Despite much criticism, black-or-white null-hypothesis significance testing with an arbitrary P-value cutoff still is the standard way to report scientific findings. One obstacle to progress is likely a lack of knowledge about suitable alternatives. Here, we suggest language of evidence that allows for a more nuanced approach to communicate scienti...
Preprint
Full-text available
Open Science (OS) comprises a variety of practices and principles that are broadly intended to improve the quality and transparency of research, and the concept is gaining traction. Since OS has multiple facets and still lacks a unifying definition, it may be interpreted quite differently among practitioners. Moreover, successfully implementing OS...
Article
Full-text available
A critical question in the conservation of large mammals in the Anthropocene is to know the extent to which they can tolerate human disturbance. Surprisingly, little quantitative data is available about large-scale effects of human activity and land use on their broad scale distribution in Europe. In this study, we quantify the relative importance...
Article
Full-text available
Presence-only biodiversity data are increasingly relied on in biodiversity, ecology, and conservation research, driven by growing digital infrastructures that support open data sharing and reuse. Recent reviews of open biodiversity data have clearly documented the value of data sharing, but the extent to which the biodiversity research community ha...
Preprint
Full-text available
1. Recovering or threatened carnivore populations are often harvested to minimise their impact on human activities, such as livestock farming or game hunting. Increasingly, harvest quota decisions involve a set of scientific, administrative and political institutions operating at national and sub-national levels whose interactions and collective de...
Preprint
1. Partial migration, where a portion of the population migrates between winter and summer (breeding) areas and the rest remain year-round resident, is a common phenomenon across several taxonomic groups. Yet, although several hypotheses have been put forward to explain why some individuals migrate while others stay resident – as well as the fitnes...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Report in Norwegian with summary in English: Background Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease affecting cervids such as deer species, moose (Alces alces) and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). Prions are abnormally folded proteins that are transmissible and able to induce abnormal folding of specific proteins naturally occurring in cells, th...
Preprint
Full-text available
In Norway, the Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus lagopus) is experiencing population declines and is nationally Red Listed as Near Threatened. Although disease has not generally been regarded as an important factor behind population fluctuations for Willow Ptarmigan in Norway, disease occurrence has been poorly investigated. Both louping-ill virus...
Article
Full-text available
According to classic theory, species' population dynamics and distributions are less influenced by species interactions under harsh climatic conditions compared to under more benign climatic conditions. In alpine and boreal ecosystems in Fennoscandia, the cyclic dynamics of rodents strongly affect many other species, including ground-nesting birds...
Article
Full-text available
Many animal populations providing ecosystem services, including harvest, live in seasonal environments and migrate between seasonally distinct ranges. Unfortunately, two major sources of human-induced global change threaten these populations: climate change and anthropogenic barriers. Anthropogenic infrastructure developments present a global threa...
Article
Full-text available
Individual age is an important element in models of population demographics, but the limitations of the methods used for age determination are not always clear. We used known-age data from moose (Alces alces), red deer (Cervus elaphus), semi-domestic reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) and Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) to ev...
Preprint
Sustainable wildlife harvest is challenging due to the complexity of uncertain social-ecological systems, and diverse stakeholder perspectives of sustainability. In these systems, semi-complex stochastic simulation models can provide heuristics that bridge the gap between highly simplified theoretical models and highly context-specific case-studies...
Article
Full-text available
Despite conservation commitments, most countries still lack large-scale biodiversity monitoring programs to track progress toward agreed targets. Monitoring program design is frequently approached from a top-down, data-centric perspective that ignores the socio-cultural context of data collection. A rich landscape of people and organizations, with...
Article
Full-text available
Survival is a key demographic component that often varies as a result of human activities such as recreational harvest. Detailed understanding of seasonal variation in mortality patterns and the role of various risk factors is thus crucial for understanding the link between environmental variation and wildlife population dynamics and to design sust...
Article
Full-text available
The successful mitigation of emerging wildlife diseases may involve controversial host culling. For livestock, ‘preemptive host culling’ is an accepted practice involving the removal of herds with known contact to infected populations. When applied to wildlife, this proactive approach comes in conflict with biodiversity conservation goals. Here, we...
Preprint
Full-text available
A critical question in the conservation of both large carnivores and wild ungulates is where they are able to live. In Europe, large mammals have persisted, and recently expanded, alongside humans for millennia, but surprisingly little quantitative data is available about large scale effects of human disturbance on their broad scale distribution. I...
Article
Full-text available
Conservationists increasingly use unstructured observational data, such as citizen science records or ranger patrol observations, to guide decision making. These datasets are often large and relatively cheap to collect, and they have enormous potential. However, the resulting data are generally “messy,” and their use can incur considerable costs, s...
Preprint
Survival is a key demographic component that often vary as a result of human activities such as recreational harvest. Detailed understanding of seasonal variation in mortality patterns and the role of various risk factors is thus crucial for understanding evolution of life histories, the link between environmental variation and wildlife population...
Article
Full-text available
The cumulative impact of human activities has driven many species into severe declines across the globe. However, the recent focus on conservation optimism has begun to highlight case studies that go against this trend. Reforestation, agricultural abandonment, reintroduction and legislative change have led to a situation where large mammals have re...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring biodiversity characteristics at large scales and with adequate resolution requires considerable effort and resources. Overall, there is clearly a huge scope for European hunters, a special and often overlooked group of citizen scientist, to contribute even more to biodiversity monitoring, especially because of their presence across the e...
Article
There is an immediate need for a change in research workflows so that pre-existing knowledge is better used in designing new research. A formal assessment of the accumulated knowledge prior to research approval would reduce the waste of already limited resources caused by asking low priority questions.
Preprint
Full-text available
1.Monitoring biodiversity characteristics at large scales and with adequate resolution requires considerable effort and resources. Overall, there is clearly a huge scope for European hunters, a special and often overlooked group of citizen scientist, to contribute even more to biodiversity monitoring, especially because of their presence across the...
Article
Rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) and willow ptarmigan (L. lagopus) are Arctic birds with a circumpolar distribution but there is limited knowledge about their status and trends across their circumpolar distribution. Here, we compiled information from 90 ptarmigan study sites from 7 Arctic countries, where almost half of the sites are still monitored....
Article
Full-text available
Applied ecological research is increasingly inspired by the open science movement. However, new challenges about how we define our science when biodiversity data are being shared and re‐used are not solved. Among these challenges is the risk associated with blurring the distinction between research that mainly seeks to explore patterns with no a‐pr...
Article
Full-text available
In a world undergoing massive declines in the distribution and abundance of many wildlife species, documenting basic ecological characteristics is often needed to be able to understand and potentially mitigate current and future pressures. Species living in alpine areas might be particularly vulnerable to climate change, in part because they are le...
Preprint
Full-text available
According to classic theory, species interactions are less important than climatic variation for species population dynamics and distributions in climatically harsh regions compared with more climatically benign regions. In boreal ecosystems, the cyclic dynamics of rodents strongly affect many other species, including ground-nesting birds. Accordin...
Article
Full-text available
Harvesting large carnivores can be a management tool for meeting politically set goals for their desired abundance. However, harvesting carnivores creates its own set of conflicts in both society and among conservation professionals, where one consequence is a need to demonstrate that management is sustainable, evidence-based and guided by science....
Preprint
Full-text available
The cumulative impact of human activities has driven many species into severe declines across the globe. However, the recent focus on conservation optimism has begun to highlight case studies that go against this trend. Reintroduction, reforestation, agricultural abandonment and legislative change has led to a situation where large mammals have rec...
Preprint
Full-text available
The cumulative impact of human activities has driven many species into severe declines across the globe. However, the recent focus on conservation optimism has begun to highlight case studies that go against this trend. Reintroduction, reforestation, agricultural abandonment and legislative change has led to a situation where large mammals have rec...
Article
Article impact statement: Without consideration of the validity of conservation frameworks and models to assist managers, efforts of conservation scientists are wasted.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Assessment of the risk to Norwegian biodiversity from import of wrasses and other cleaner fish for use in aquaculture. Opinion of the Panel on Alien Organisms and Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment. VKM report 2019: 15, ISBN: 978-82-8259-330-4, ISSN: 2535-4019. Norwegian Scientific Com...
Preprint
Where research does not lead to benefits to society, it may be considered a waste of resources, especially when publicly funded. A formal assessment of the accumulated knowledge prior to research approval would reduce the waste of already limited resources caused by asking low priority questions. There is an urgent need for a change in research wor...