Jan C Axmacher

Jan C Axmacher
University College London | UCL · Department of Geography

Dr rer. nat.

About

130
Publications
45,985
Reads
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2,488
Citations
Citations since 2016
74 Research Items
1890 Citations
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Introduction
I am an environmental scientist with a particular interested in biodiversity conservation. My group studies spatio-temporal biodiversity patterns of plants, invertebrates and birds in agricultural and forested landscapes, their environmental determinants and the ecosystem services they provide. The spread, impact and control of invasive alien species (IAS) form a second focus my group is working on, while we are also interested in environmental governance, biogeochemical processes and measures of biodiversity. The research of my group focuses strongly on practical implications, for example looking at environmental management to optimize biodiversity and ecosystem services, or at ways to manage IAS and their environmental impact.
Additional affiliations
April 2020 - present
Agricultural University of Iceland
Position
  • Professor
October 2013 - September 2021
University College London
Position
  • Senior Lecturer
September 2005 - September 2013
University College London
Position
  • Lecturer
Education
September 2006 - November 2008
University College London
Field of study
  • Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
October 1999 - June 2003
University of Bayreuth
Field of study
  • Biodiversity patterns of geometrid moths and vascular plants along environmental gradients at Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
October 1993 - November 1998
University of Bayreuth
Field of study
  • Geoecology

Publications

Publications (130)
Article
While illegal wildlife trade (IWT) represents a serious threat to biodiversity, research into the prevalence of illegal plant collection and trade remains scarce. Since cacti and succulents are known as heavily threatened by over-collection for often illegal, international ornamental trade, we surveyed 441 members of the cacti and succulent hobbyis...
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Biodiversity in China coexists alongside large ethnically diverse rural human populations within linked ‘biocultural’ social–ecological systems. Cumulative and changing local anthropogenic pressures linked to human population growth and economic development are driving unsustainable resource exploitation, habitat loss and extensive species declines...
Article
Channelization and artificial embankments have altered the natural flood regime of many rivers, impacting the hydrological characteristics of floodplain ecosystems and their biological communities. Fine‐scale plant and soil chemistry sampling was undertaken on an embanked floodplain meadow in Norfolk, UK, in order to assess spatial patterns of plan...
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Reforested areas can act as important carbon (C) sinks. In China, extensive reforestation has been carried out in mountainous regions, with resulting C storage affected by forest age, forest type and environmental settings. Evaluations of forest C sequestration therefore require a detailed spatio-temporal analysis of C storage dynamics. Here, we us...
Article
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Context The Sanjiangyuan region of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau—also known as the “Three Rivers’ Headwaters”—is the origin of the Yellow, Yangtze, and Mekong Rivers and therefore the key water source for hundreds of millions of downstream residents. Protecting this region’s ecosystems is a key priority for sustainable development in China and Asia....
Article
1. Traditional smallholding-dominated agricultural landscapes in Southern China are increasingly homogenized and consolidated, resulting in large mono-cropped fields and impoverished pollinator communities. The exact impact of this farmland consolidation on composition and functional traits of wild bee communities remains poorly understood. 2. We s...
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In arid and semi-arid regions worldwide, grassland plant species richness is highly sensitive to climate change. Studies assessing local grassland richness patterns have yielded inconsistent trends toward climate change, partly due to differences in recording approaches, environmental conditions, and local flora. Remote sensing presents a valuable...
Article
Agricultural intensification has caused severe declines in ground-dwelling arthropods and associated ecosystem services. The conservation and re-establishment of semi-natural habitats in agricultural landscapes represent widely accepted measures to counter these declines. The effectiveness of these measures nonetheless varies between target taxa an...
Article
Over the last four decades, China has experienced rapid parallel economic development and urbanization, leading to internal mass -migrations of its people from increasingly marginalized rural areas to urban centers where job opportunities and wealth are now concentrated. We compare the relative temporal growth trends in population-related and land-...
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兴安落叶松林是大兴安岭地区代表性的植被类型,其生物多样性具有独特性。步甲是森林生态系统环境和多样性的指示性物种,以及认识环境变化和生物多样性特征的关键物种。为研究大兴安岭地区兴安落叶松林步甲群落多样性的时间动态,分析步甲群落对时间变化的响应规律,于2019年5月下旬-8月下旬步甲活跃期,利用陷阱诱捕法在兴安落叶松林5个样地中采集步甲标本共15属34种1149头,其中大兴安岭地区地理新纪录物种7种,中国地理新纪录物种6种。研究结果表明,通缘步甲属(Pterostichus)和大步甲属(Carabus)物种丰富度最高;通缘步甲属未定种5(Pterostichus eximius)为极优势物种,对时间变化最敏感。兴安落叶松林小生境类型的多样化和步甲休眠期的选择是步甲群落个体数和物种数随时间变化呈双...
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Abstract Electrofishing is a well‐established and widely used method for surveying fish populations. Nonetheless, its effectiveness is impacted by numerous factors, including water chemistry, habitat type and fish species. Both physiological and behavioural responses make bottom‐dwelling ‘benthic’ fish which lack swim bladders (e.g. European bullhe...
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While the urban landscapes of the early Anthropocene may appear hostile to large carnivores, humans and leopards (Panthera pardus) are known to co-inhabit major urban centres like Mumbai (India), Nairobi (Kenya) and Johannesburg (South Africa). We provide evidence that the presence of leopards in urban landscapes is not, however, a new phenomenon a...
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In line with general biodiversity losses across agricultural landscapes, insect pollinators have experienced recent sharp declines. A range of conservation measures have been developed to address these declines, with plant-pollinator interaction networks providing key insights into the effectiveness of these measures. For the first time, we studied...
Preprint
Full-text available
Context The Sanjiangyuan region of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (also known as the “Three Rivers’ Headwaters”) is the origin of Yellow, Yangtze, and Mekong Rivers and therefore the key water source for hundreds of millions of downstream residents. Protecting this region’s ecosystems is a key priority for sustainable development in China and Asia. An...
Article
Full-text available
1. As crayfish invasions continue to threaten native freshwater biota, a detailed understanding of crayfish distribution and population structure becomes imperative. Nonetheless, most current survey methods provide inadequate demographic data. The quantitative ‘Triple Drawdown’ (TDD) dewatering method has highlighted the importance of such data, ye...
Article
With invasive crayfish becoming increasingly widespread, evidence-based management is crucial to protect freshwater ecosystems. Knowledge of the structure and function of invasive crayfish populations allows for an effective evaluation of management efforts. Recent methodological developments have enabled the first truly quantitative studies of UK...
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There are numerous ways to estimate the true number of species in a community based on incomplete samples. Nonetheless, comparable approaches to estimate the number of species shared between two incompletely sampled communities are scarce. Here, we introduce the ‘total expected species shared’ (TESS) measure and provide the R function for its calcu...
Article
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Agricultural intensification has caused losses of global biodiversity and associated ecological services. Agro-ecological landscape assessments are therefore often based on the area of remaining semi-natural habitats due to their ability to promote biodiversity. Due to their structural diversity and often less intensive management in comparison to...
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1. To be effective, the next generation of conservation practitioners and managers need to be critical thinkers with a deep understanding of how to make evidence‐based decisions and of the value of evidence synthesis. 2. If, as educators, we do not make these priorities a core part of what we teach, we are failing to prepare our students to make an...
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1. We carried out three choice experiments with 6116 nocturnal lepidopteran individuals (95 species, 7 families, 32075 counts), each replicated 105 times during the seasons of two years. Moths were released indoors at the centre of a 10 x 10 m area with different lamps placed at each corner. 2. In experiment 1, lamps emitted UV (peak at 365 nm), bl...
Article
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Freshwater crayfish can be successful invaders that threaten native biota and aquatic ecosystems in numerous countries worldwide. Nonetheless, the inability of conventional crayfish survey techniques like trapping and handsearching to yield quantitative population data has limited the understanding of crayfish invasion biology and associated ecolog...
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In the intensively farmed, homogenous agricultural landscape of the North China Plain, family graveyards form distinct cultural landscape features. In addition to their cultural value, these graveyards represent semi-natural habitat islands whose potential roles in biodiversity conservation and ecological functioning has remained poorly understood....
Article
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The restoration of highly terrestrialized farmland ponds that combines the removal of woody vegetation and pond sediment greatly enhances aquatic biodiversity. Nonetheless, questions remain regarding the historical precedent of pond restoration, and particularly if post‐restoration aquatic macrophyte communities resemble pre‐terrestrialization asse...
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1. Declines in pollinating invertebrates across intensively cultivated landscapes linked to reductions in flower-rich habitats constitute a key threat to biodiversity conservation and the provision of ecosystem services. Over recent decades, many ponds in agricultural landscapes have become overgrown with woody vegetation, resulting in heavily shade...
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Dramatic declines in diurnal pollinators have created great scientific interest in plant–pollinator relationships and associated pollination services. Existing literature, however, is generally focused on diurnal pollinating insect taxa, especially on Apidae (Hymenoptera) and Syrphidae (Diptera) pollinators, while nocturnal macro-moths that compris...
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While China is promoting the re‐establishment of forests across the country on a globally unprecedented scale, the biodiversity harboured by the resulting secondary and plantation forests remains poorly understood. Here, we assess the carabid diversity at Zhangguangcai Mountains in northeastern China that comprise a unique mosaic of mature forest r...
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Throughout the tropics, hunting and fishing are critical livelihood activities for many Indigenous peoples. However, these practices may not be sustainable following recent socio-economic changes in Indigenous populations. To understand how human population growth and increased market integration affect hunting and fishing patterns, we conducted se...
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1. Semi‐natural habitats are regularly shown to affect the diversity of predatory invertebrates at both local and landscape scales. In this study, we investigated the effects of three different vegetated field margins and the surrounding landscape composition on two common natural enemy taxa, carabids and spiders, in wheat fields of the North China...
Article
Measures of β‐diversity characterizing the difference in species composition between samples are commonly used in ecological studies. Nonetheless, commonly used dissimilarity measures require high sample completeness, or at least similar sample sizes between samples. In contrast, the Chord‐Normalized Expected Species Shared (CNESS) dissimilarity me...
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The National Nature Reserve (NNR) network forms a central element in China's governmental strategy to conserve the country's vast biodiversity and its varied ecosystems. Nonetheless, the effectiveness of the existing NNR network in protecting China's highly diverse habitats and the fauna and flora they contain has remained unclear. Here, we analyze...
Article
Although biodiversity is in sharp decline around the globe, collectiing precise information on changes in overall species richness remains extremely challenging. Efficient and reliable proxy methods are therefore needed, with the diversity of higher taxa representing one such potential proxy for species‐level diversity. Nonetheless, the stability o...
Article
Farmland bird populations have experienced severe declines across Europe and elsewhere. Agricultural intensification is believed to be a main factor behind these declines, with losses of non-cropped features, such as farmland ponds, identified as a key driver. Since the 1950s, many European farmland ponds have been in-filled or, through lack of man...
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Rapid urbanization has greatly changed traditional villages in rural areas of China. This paper aims to assess sustainability and obtain its spatio–temporal dynamics, analyze the cause of sustainability changing conditions, and offer suggestions on the sustainable development of traditional villages. We integrated human disturbances into a minimum...
Article
Capsule: There is seasonal variation in the benefits that birds can take from restored farmland ponds. Aims: To evaluate season-specific benefits of farmland pond restoration for local bird communities. Methods: Bird communities were recorded at unmanaged overgrown and managed open-canopy farmland ponds over the breeding, post-breeding and winter s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Growing recognition of the importance of ponds for landscape-scale biodiversity has led to considerable interest in their conservation, focusing on new pond creation, or existing pond restoration. However, there is a third approach; the re-excavation of "ghost ponds"; former ponds deliberately filled-in due to agricultural intensification. Previous...
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Aim Following the near‐complete destruction of China's forest ecosystems during the 20th century, recent reforestation programmes have created large‐scale mosaics of protected secondary and plantation forests. These restored forests are often assumed to have limited biodiversity conservation value, but large‐scale evaluations of their diversity are...
Article
Wild bees provide important pollination services for crops and wild plants. While land use intensification has resulted in steep declines of wild bee diversity across agricultural landscapes, the creation of semi-natural habitats has been proposed as a counter-measure. However, the relative value of semi-natural and natural habitats in promoting wi...
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Intensively managed flowering crops like canola (Brassicales: Brassicaceae) (oilseed rape, OSR) provide significant short-term nectar resources for pollen consumers. They may also play important roles as annual "service strips" in temporarily promoting predatory invertebrates. We set out to test this assumption by comparing overall and functional g...
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Agricultural intensification and the associated loss of non-cropped habitats have caused a major decline in UK farmland bird populations since the 1970s. As a consequence, there is an urgent need to implement effective conservation and habitat restoration measures in agricultural landscapes. Over the last 40–50 years, due to the cessation of tradit...
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Two new Pterostichus species (Coleoptera, Carabidae) in the subgenus Feroperis Lafer, 1979 are described from Zhangguangcai Mountain, northeastern China: Pterostichus (Feroperis) silvestris Sun & Shi, sp. n. and Pterostichus (Feroperis) maryseae Sun & Shi, sp. n. Detailed descriptions and illustrations of the male endophallus and female reproductiv...
Article
Ponds represent a large potential resource for biodiversity in agricultural areas of lowland Europe though many are lost through natural succession towards damp woodland depressions (terrestrialisation). Managing ponds back towards their former open-water state may result in dramatic increases of biodiversity, even on heavily farmed land. Here, evi...
Article
Reclamation of salinity-affected land for intensive agricultural production represents a highly promising pathway towards feeding our increasing global population. Nonetheless, biodiversity and ecosystem service responses to agricultural intensification in desalinized landscapes remain poorly understood. In our study, we analyzed long-term diversit...
Article
The loss of flower-rich habitats and agricultural intensification have resulted in significant losses of wild bee diversity from agricultural landscapes that is increasingly threatening the pollination of zoochorous agricultural crops and agricultural sustainability. However, the links of different wild bee functional trait groups with habitat type...
Article
Agricultural intensification has resulted in major losses of biodiversity due to landscape homogenization and an increasing use of agrochemicals. It has often been assumed that associated changes in environmental conditions are impacting composition and diversity of two main ground-dwelling generalist predator taxa, carabid beetles and epigaeic spi...
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Thirty UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) scenarios are simulated using a MIKE SHE/MIKE 11 model of a restored floodplain in eastern England. Annual precipitation exhibits uncertainty in direction of change. Extreme changes (10 and 90% probability) range between −27 and +30%. The central probability projects small declines ( < −4%). Wetter winter...
Article
Full-text available
Thirty UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) scenarios are simulated using a MIKE SHE/MIKE 11 model of a restored floodplain in eastern England. Annual precipitation exhibits uncertainty in direction of change. Extreme changes (10% and 90% probability) range between –27% and +30%. The central probability projects small declines (<–4%). Wetter winter...
Article
Full-text available
Extensive habitat destruction and pollution have caused dramatic declines in aquatic biodiversity at local to global scales. In rivers, the reintroduction of large woody debris is a common method aimed at restoring degraded ecosystems through "rewilding." However, causal evidence for its effectiveness is lacking due to a dearth of replicated before...
Article
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The widespread loss of wetlands due to agricultural intensification has been highlighted as a major threat to aquatic biodiversity. However, all is not lost as we reveal that the propagules of some aquatic species could survive burial under agricultural fields in the sediments of ‘ghost ponds’ - ponds in-filled during agricultural land consolidatio...
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We aim to document elevational richness patterns of geometrid moths in a globally replicated, multi-gradient setting, and to test general hypotheses on environmental and spatial effects (i.e. productivity, temperature, precipitation, area, mid-domain effect and human habitat disturbance) on these richness patterns. Twenty-six elevational gradients...