Federico Morelli

Federico Morelli
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague | CULS · Department of Ecology

PhD

About

173
Publications
112,064
Reads
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2,440
Citations
Citations since 2017
114 Research Items
2132 Citations
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Introduction
Quantitative ecologist, focused mainly on eco-ethology, modelling spatial distribution of species (SDM) in association with environmental variables and landscape heterogeneity. Main topics: Conservation ecology; urbanization effects on wildlife; bioindicators; (bio)diversity metrics; agro-ecology; HNV farmlands; habitat selection; biotic interactions; community resilience facing climate-change scenarios.
Additional affiliations
October 2017 - January 2021
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2016 - October 2017
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
Position
  • Researcher
March 2015 - January 2016
French National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE)
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
March 2008 - March 2011
Università degli Studi di Urbino "Carlo Bo"
Field of study
  • Environmental Science
March 2004 - March 2007
Università degli Studi di Urbino "Carlo Bo"
Field of study
  • Biological Science
March 1995 - March 2001
National University of the Patagonia San Juan Bosco (Puerto Madryn)
Field of study
  • Biological Sciences

Publications

Publications (173)
Article
Aim: The urbanization process can lead to specialist species being replaced by generalist species in space and time, increasing similarity among bird communities, a phenomennon termed biotic homogenization, directly related to taxonomic and functional diversity. However, the effects of urbanization on phylogenetic diversity remain unclear. Our stud...
Article
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Common cuckoo Cuculus canorus is a charismatic bird species with a dominant presence in human culture: from folklore legends to nowadays there is evidence of cuckoos being a prime candidate as a surrogate of bird diversity. Recent studies demonstrated that the cuckoo can predict hotspots of taxonomic diversity and functional diversity of bird commu...
Article
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Road and railway networks are pervasive elements of all environments, which have expanded intensively over the last century in all European countries. These transportation infrastructures have major impacts on the surrounding landscape, representing a threat to biodiversity. Roadsides and railways may function as corridors for dispersal of alien sp...
Article
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Urban environments cover vast areas with a high density of humans and their dogs and cats causing problems for exploitation of new resources by wild animals. Such resources facilitate colonization by individuals with a high level of neophilia predicting that urban animals should show more neophilia than rural conspecifics. We provided bird-feeders...
Article
The importance of biodiversity conservation is well recognized, and the loss of biodiversity is particularly evident in highly urbanized areas. On the other hand, green spaces inside cities, as parks, can provide a resource for maintaining and increasing biodiversity, especially for bird species. However, only a few studies have addressed the effec...
Article
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Capsule Bird species richness was highest in forest and urban habitat types, lower in grassland and wetland, and lowest in cropland. Aims To investigate bird species richness patterns across different habitat types in Czechia, Central Europe. Methods Data from a national breeding bird monitoring scheme in Czechia, based on mapping of positions of...
Article
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Para huir de depredadores, las aves urbanas pueden elegir entre dos estrategias de escape: correr o volar. Estos comportamientos de huida presentan distintos costos para el individuo, teniendo el primero un menor gasto energético pero mayor riesgo de depredación y viceversa. Sin embargo, los factores que afectan la selección de una u otra estrategi...
Article
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Background Urbanization will increase in the next decades, causing the loss of green areas and bird diversity within cities. There is a lack of studies at a continental scale analyzing the relationship between urban green areas, such as parks and cemeteries, and bird species richness in the Neotropical region. Bird diversity-environment relationshi...
Article
Quantifying intraspecific and interspecific trait variability is critical to our understanding of biogeography, ecology, and conservation. But quantifying such variability, and understanding the importance of intraspecific and interspecific variability remains challenging. This is especially true of large geographic scales as this is where the diff...
Article
Most ecological studies use remote sensing to analyze broad‐scale biodiversity patterns, focusing mainly on taxonomic diversity in natural landscapes. One of the most important effects of high levels of urbanization is species loss (i.e., biotic homogenization). Therefore, cost‐effective and more efficient methods to monitor biological communities'...
Article
The escape behaviour, measured as flight initiation distance (FID; the distance at which individuals take flight when approached by a potential predator, usually a human in the study systems), is a measure widely used to study fearfulness and risk-taking in animals. Previous studies have shown significant differences in the escape behaviour of bird...
Article
Risk-taking in birds is often measured as the flight initiation distance (FID), the distance at which individuals take flight when approached by a potential predator (typically a human). The ecological factors that affect avian FID have received great attention over the past decades and meta-analyses and comparative analyses have shown that FID is...
Article
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Species richness is a widely used proxy for patterns of biodiversity variation in metacommunities. However, deeper analyses require additional metrics, such as the occupancy-frequency distributions (SOFD) of different local communities. The SOFD patterns indicate the number of shared species between study sites; therefore, they can provide new insi...
Preprint
Full-text available
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically altered human activities, potentially relieving human pressures on urban-dwelling animals. Here, we evaluated whether birds from five cities in five countries (Czech Republic - Prague, Finland - Rovaniemi, Hungary - Budapest, Poland - Poznan, and Australia - Melbourne) changed their...
Article
Current rates of land use are driving temporal changes in avian communities. Thus, it is essential to properly designate and manage protected areas since they mitigate the adverse effects of temporal changes on species populations. By using common bird monitoring data in Czechia from two periods (2005/2006 and 2014/2015), we calculated two indices...
Article
Variation in bird community composition across habitats may be reflected by changes in species’ ecological characteristics. By their comparison between habitats, we can learn information about the factors underlying these changes. With this purpose, we used data from a nation-wide breeding bird monitoring scheme surveying birds in 15 habitat types...
Article
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Species subjected to more variable environments should have greater phenotypic plasticity than those that are more restricted to specific habitat types leading to the expectation that migratory birds should be relatively more plastic than resident birds. We tested this comparatively by studying variation in flight initiation distance (FID), a well-...
Article
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Habitat overlap occurs when two species co-exist in the same habitat and utilise the same resources. Using common bird monitoring data in Czech Republic from 2015 and 2016, we compared the affinities of five Columbidae species regarding land use types. Moreover, we analysed the effects of land use types and land use heterogeneity on five species di...
Article
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Bird counting inevitably suffers from imperfect detection, which varies across species, habitats, period of the day, and seasons. Although various modelling techniques have recently been developed to account for this phenomenon, the biological basis of natural variation in detection remains insufficiently known. This study examined the bird species...
Article
Protected areas are a relevant conservation tool at our disposal, especially for developing management strategies of natural habitats. However, explicit tests at large spatial scales about its effectivity protecting different components of biodiversity are still rare. This study explored the spatial matching between the distribution of three compon...
Article
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Urban and suburban areas are among the fastest-growing land-use types globally, reducing and fragmenting natural habitats for many animal species and making human-wildlife interactions more common. However, cities also create habitat for several species considered urban tolerant or urban exploiter species. Additionally, the environmental characteri...
Article
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Aim: We assessed the spatial distribution of four different types of avian specialization throughout Europe, identifying landscape features associated with specialization, and quantifying where the Natura 2000 network intersects with areas of high avian specialization. Location: Europe Time period: Present day Taxa studied: European breeding bi...
Article
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Includes: Figure S1. Linear regression plot between FID and initial distance (A), FID and alarm distance (B) and alarm distance and initial distance (C) in birds and mammals of Jhalana Forest reserve, Jaipur, India. Figure S2. The differences between the level of noise produced by the two type of cars used in the experiment (measured in dB), with M...
Article
Context: Anthropogenic sounds are pollution that is not always evaluated in the environment in general and near wildlife in particular. Non-electric Off-Road Vehicles (ORV) are used in most wildlife reserves of India for ecotourism purposes in the form of wildlife viewing safaris. Aims: We hypothesized that the e-vehicles would allow a closer appr...
Article
Europe is an urbanized continent characterized by a long history of human-wildlife interactions. This study aimed to assess the effects of specific elements of urbanization and urban pollution on complementary avian diversity metrics, to provide new insights on the conservation of urban birds. Our study recorded 133 bird species at 1624 point coun...
Preprint
Context: Anthropogenic sounds are pollution that is not always evaluated in the environment in general and near wildlife in particular. Non-electric Off-Road Vehicles (ORV) are used in most wildlife reserves of India for ecotourism purposes in the form of wildlife viewing safaris. Aims: We hypothesized that the e-vehicles would allow a closer appro...
Article
Actions taken against the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically affected many aspects of human activity, giving us a unique opportunity to study how wildlife responds to the human-induced rapid environmental changes. The wearing of face masks, widely adopted to prevent pathogen transmission, represents a novel element in many parts of the world where...
Article
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Climate and land use are rapidly changing environmental conditions. Behavioral responses to such global perturbations can be used to incorporate interspecific interactions into predictive models of population responses to global change. Flight initiation distance (FID) reflects antipredator behaviour defined as the distance at which an individual t...
Article
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The Magpie Pica pica occurs all over open agricultural areas in Poland, especially near human settlements (particularly in western Poland). The aim of this study was to estimate the size of the local Magpie population and characterize, in detail, nest site selection in a medium size city Górzów Wlkp. in the XXI century. For this study, the whole ci...
Article
Sacred groves in Greece are usually forest remnants with large trees around chapels, protected through centuries by Orthodox religion. We examined the comparative ecological value of 20 oak-dominated sacred groves vs managed oakwoods, in terms of their habitat characteristics and avian communities (passerines and wood-peckers). Sacred groves have m...
Article
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The emergence of infectious diseases is reviewed highlighting the potential role played by main environmental an-thropogenic disturbances as, deforestation, land-use change, human-induced climate change, biodiversity loss and the illegal wildlife trade. Ultimately, it is plausible that the human impact on the biosphere could be the root cause of th...
Article
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Cities currently harbour more than half of the world's human population and continued urban expansion replaces natural landscapes and increases habitat fragmentation. The impacts of urbanisation on biodiversity have been extensively studied in some parts of the world, but there is limited information from South Asia, despite the rapid expansion of...
Article
The main objective of this long‐term study (1978‐2016) was to find the underlying factors behind the declining trends of eider Somateria mollissima in the Baltic/Wadden Sea. Specifically, we aimed at quantifying the bottom‐up effect of nutrients, through mussel stocks, on reproduction and abundance of eider, and the top‐down effects caused by white...
Article
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Collisions of vehicles with animals are an increasing problem, and due to the loss of animal, as well as human, life is an active topic in applied ecology. One of the best-known mitigation methods to avoid collisions is the provision of dedicated road warning signs. However, due to changes in landscape, in the densities of cars and animals, and to...
Article
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Aim As urban areas continue to expand, it is increasingly important to quantify species‐specific responses to urban environments, and how these change across the full annual cycle. Our objective was to quantify urban tolerance for North American birds across the time. We tested (a) whether intra‐annual variability of urban tolerance differed betwee...
Article
Birds with plumage colour aberrations are of interest to both the general public and scientists. However, due to their rarity in nature, information on the presence of colour aberrations is rarely found in the peer‐reviewed literature. Exploration of public observations using modern information technologies such as Internet‐based search engines cou...
Article
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Ecologically specialist species are more prone to extinction than generalist species, yet the global distribution and conservation of ecological specialism is poorly understood. Here, we show that the global distribution of avian dietary specialization is roughly congruent with overall bird species richness for resident and breeding species, as wel...
Poster
Full-text available
Road networks alter the landscapes, increasing the ecosystem fragmentation and for this reason are associated with a significant impact in biodiversity. The main ecological effects of road networks on wildlife are related to a) habitat loss, b) direct disturbance by noise and artificial light, and especially by c) artificial barrier to animal movem...
Article
Due to their falling cost, unmanned aerial vehicles, often called drones, are increasingly used as a tool in birdresearch and conservation. However, behavioural responses of birds to flying drones are still not well understood, for example do birds recognize drones as predators, as benign, or as neutral elements? How do they react to drones? We ans...
Article
Understanding the processes shaping the composition of assemblages in response to disturbance events is crucial for preventing ongoing biodiversity loss in forest ecosystems. However, studies of forest biodiversity responses to disturbance typically analyze immediate or short-term impacts only, while studies relating long-term disturbance history t...
Article
Through an extensive literature review and using a large dataset collected from several European studies, we explored the frequency of occurrence of road bird casualties. First, we modelled the inter-specific variation in roadkill’ frequency across the avian phylogeny, testing for phylogenetic signal. Then, we explored the association between frequ...
Article
In this study, we propose a novel strategy for identifying potential hotspots of avian roadkills in Europe. The proposed approach combines information about the spatial distribution of bird species at a comparatively higher risk of roadkill with data on road density. First, using a large dataset collected from several European studies and reports,...
Article
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The impact of veterinary medical products (VMPs) on dung beetles has been thoroughly investigated. However, less is known about the ecological consequences for the ecosystem processes performed by this fauna, especially in relation to functional diversity. We explored the impacts of the long-term use of VMPs on dung beetles from a functional standp...
Article
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Generalist species — with their wide niche breadths — are often associated with urban environments, while specialist species are likely to be most at‐risk of increasing urbanization processes. But studies which quantify the relationship between trait specialization (i.e., niche breadth) and urban tolerance are generally methodologically limited, wi...
Article
The sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) is a common species in Europe that inhabits a wide range of habitats, including anthropogenic environments. It is a frequent carrier of common ticks (Ixodes ricinus), which poses a severe threat to the lizards' health. We determined the living space used by lizards in a rapidly changing environment and ascertained t...
Article
This study aimed to investigate the match between breeding bird communities’ potential resilience and projections of climate change in Europe. Here we identified European regions with the most substantial projected impacts of climate change based on Δ temperature and Δ precipitation in the next 60 years, assessing the overlap with maps of potential...
Article
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• Brood parasitism is a breeding strategy adopted by many species of cuckoos across the world. This breeding strategy influences the evolution of life histories of brood parasite species. • In this study, we tested whether the degree on diet specialization is related to the breeding strategy in cuckoo species, by comparing brood parasite and nonpar...
Article
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Urbanization is affecting avian biodiversity across the planet, and potentially increasing species vulnerability to climate. Identifying the resilience of urban bird communities to climate change is critical for making conservation decisions. This study explores the pattern in bird communities across nine European cities and examines the projected...
Article
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Successful conservation strategies depend on the correct identification of animal species and populations at a higher risk of extinction. But not all species are equally sensitive to environmental changes. Specialist species are often considered more prone to extinction than generalist species. However, even considering the importance of the link b...
Article
As a process affecting animal communities, urbanization has been the subject of numerous studies. However, amphibians are still among the least studied vertebrate groups in urbanized landscapes. Generally, it has been found that the process of loss of amphibian diversity is nonrandom, with species from older evolutionary lines at greater risk. Regi...
Article
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We are living in the Anthropocene, where the effects of urbanization on biodiversity are increasingly important for global conservation. Cities can be considered refuges for some species but more likely ecological traps for others, because such urban spaces constitute poor habitats with little reproductive success despite their apparent suitability...
Article
Urbanization, one of the most extreme human-induced environmental changes, is negatively affecting biodiversity worldwide, strongly suggesting that we should reconcile urban development with conservation. Urbanization can follow two extreme types of development within a continuum: land sharing (buildings mixed with dispersed green space) or land sp...
Article
Urban areas are expanding globally as a consequence of human population increases, with overall negative effects on biodiversity. To prevent the further loss of biodiversity, it is urgent to understand the mechanisms behind this loss to develop evidence-based sustainable solutions to preserve biodiversity in urban landscapes. The two extreme urban...
Data
Jokimäki et al. 2019 Land-sharing vs. land-sparing urban development modulate predator-prey interactions in Europe. Data 01112019
Preprint
Generalist species — with their wide niche breadths — are often associated with urban environments, while specialist species are likely to be most at-risk of increasing urbanization processes. But studies which quantify the relationship between trait specialization (i.e., niche breadth) and urban tolerance are spatially, temporally, and methodologi...
Article
Aim: An in-depth assessment of the spatial distribution of environmental resources and the condition of ecosystems is a key challenge in the management of ecosystems to support the provision of multiple ecosystem services. The main objective of this work was to investigate the spatial covariance of different aspects of avian diversity across gradie...
Article
Wood-pasture abandonment is an important cause of structural homogenisation in traditionally managed forest landscapes across the Alps. In the present study, bird response to the restoration of ancient abandoned chestnut orchards was investigated by a pairwise-comparison of species richness and community composition in 94 managed and unmanaged ches...
Article
Full-text available
The intensity and frequency of human-animal conflicts has escalated in recent decades mainly due to the exponential increase in human population in the past century and the subsequent encroachment of human activities on wilderness areas. Jhalana Forest Reserve (JFR) presents the characteristics of island biogeography in the heart of Jaipur, a city...
Article
Full-text available
Measuring the extent to which a species is specialized is a major challenge in ecology, with important repercussions for fundamental research as well as for applied ecol‐ogy and conservation. Here, we develop a multidimensional index of specialization based on five sets of ecological characteristics of breeding bird species. We used two recent data...
Article
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Brazil, home to one of the planet’s last great forests, is currently in trade negotiations with its second largest trading partner, the European Union (EU). We urge the EU to seize this critical opportunity to ensure that Brazil protects human rights and the environment. Brazil’s forests, wetlands, and savannas are crucial to a great diversity of I...
Article
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Flight initiation distance (FID), the distance at which individuals take flight when approached by a potential (human) predator, is a tool for understanding predator-prey interactions. Among the factors affecting FID, tests of effects of group size (i.e. number of potential prey) on FID have yielded contrasting results. Group size or flock size cou...
Article
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Urbanisation effects on living organisms are spatially heterogeneous. Here we quantified the abundance of birds per tree in forested urban and rural habitats for 85,829 trees mainly in China and Europe. A population model was based on the assumption that (1) birds have a normally distributed habitat preference; (2) an increase in population size li...
Article
We assessed wildlife roadkill spatial patterns focusing on asphalt roads in southern Spanish oak rangelands (“dehesas”). Four roads in the Sierra Morena range (Andalusia) were surveyed twice during autumn-winter 2009–2010 and spring-summer 2010. Roadsides were walked on both sides across the total road length (53 km; overall length walked per seaso...
Article
Considering loss of biodiversity a global threat, cost-efective tools for monitoring spatial distribution of species are relevant for conservation planning. The aims of this study were (a) to compare the global pattern of species richness in Cuculidae with species richness of birds, amphibians and mammals; (b) whether it is spatially congruent with...
Article
Full-text available
As a Nature-Based Solution, urban forests deliver a number of environmental ecosystem services (EESs). To quantify these EESs, well-defined, reliable, quantifiable and stable indicators are needed. Based on literature analysis and expert knowledge gathered within COST Action FP1204 GreenInUrbs, we propose a classification of urban forest EESs into...
Article
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Farmland landscapes are recognized as important ecosystems, not only for their rich biodiversity but equally so for the human beings who live and work in these places. However, biodiversity varies among sites (spatial change) and among seasons (temporal change). In this work, we tested the hypothesis that bird diversity hotspots distribution for br...
Presentation
Full-text available
Wielkoskalowe przekształcenia i niszczenie siedlisk naturalnych powoduje nie tylko fragmentaryzację krajobrazu i zaburzenia w funkcjonowaniu populacji wielu gatunków, ale prowadzi także do homogenizacji całych zbiorowisk. Proces ten jest przedmiotem badań wielu ekologów, jednak w przypadku płazów do tej pory ukazało się niewiele prac. Dotychczas st...