Mattia Brambilla

Mattia Brambilla
University of Milan | UNIMI · Department of Environmental Science and Policy - ESP

PhD

About

233
Publications
50,182
Reads
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2,920
Citations
Introduction
I am particularly interested in animal (especially bird) ecology and conservation, evolution and phylogeography. Most of my work is now dedicated to conservation, and especially to biodiversity in farmland habitats, effects of climate change, species of conservation concern, monitoring plans of terrestrial Vertebrates, ecological networks from local to regional scale, definition of conservation status and targets for avian species at national scale, ecosystem services.
Additional affiliations
March 2008 - present
LIPU BirdLife Italia
Position
  • research consultant
Description
  • Conservation status and targets for bird species at the national scale, reporting following Birds Directive, farmland birds, ecology and conservation of threatened species, RDP evaluation, birds of mountain grassland and climate change.
February 2007 - present
Museo delle Scienze, Trento, Italy
Position
  • research consultant
Description
  • Biodiversity in farmland habitats, ecology and conservation of rallids and shrikes, monitoring plans, ecological networks, species action plans, assessment of conservation status and setting of conservation targets for birds at the regional scale.
June 2006 - present
Fondazione Lombardia per l'Ambiente
Position
  • research consultant
Description
  • Biodiversity in farmland habitats, conservation, birds and climate change, monitoring plans, ecological networks, conservation and management of areas and species, conservation status and targets for animal species according to EU Directives.
Education
November 2003 - January 2007
University of Milan
Field of study
  • Natural and environmental science
October 1998 - April 2003
University of Milan
Field of study
  • Natural Science

Publications

Publications (233)
Article
The subalpine warbler Sylvia cantillans is formally considered a polytypic species, with four subspecies, European S. c. cantillans, albistriata, moltonii (recently resumed name: subalpina) and North African S. c.inornata. They are very similar in external morphology but clearly differ in their vocalizations. We evaluated their uncertain taxonomic...
Article
1. Correlative species distribution models (SDMs) assess relationships between species distribution data and environmental features, to evaluate the environmental suitability (ES) of a given area for a species, by providing a measure of the probability of presence. If the output of SDMs represents the relationships between habitat features and spec...
Article
Interspecific interactions are crucial in determining species occurrence and community assembly. Understanding these interactions is thus essential for correctly predicting species' responses to climate change. We focussed on an avian forest guild of four hole-nesting species with differing sensitivities to climate, that show a range of well-unders...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying climate refugia is key to effective biodiversity conservation under a changing climate, especially for mountain‐specialist species adapted to cold conditions and highly threatened by climate warming. We combined species distribution models (SDMs) with climate forecasts to identify climate refugia for high‐elevation bird species (Lagopus...
Article
Full-text available
1. Agricultural intensification is a main threat to biodiversity, and vineyards are particularly concerning because of their increasing extent and intensive management. Management strategies that mitigate vineyard impacts on biodiversity are urgently needed. 2. In a major wine area in N Italy, we tested in a 3‐year experiment the effect of alternat...
Article
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In contrast to old-growth forests, early-successional stands remain understudied despite potentially harbouring species of conservation interest. With this work, focused on hazel grouse Tetrastes bonasia , a cryptic and indicator species known to select for close-to-natural forests, we evaluated winter densities, home range, microhabitat selection...
Article
Full-text available
Linking organism distribution to climate is key to understanding factors determining species occurrence and evaluating the potential impacts of ongoing climate change. A common analytical tool to assess the link between species and climate is represented by ecological niche modelling and by the tightly related species distribution models (SDMs). Th...
Article
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Understanding the effects of landscape composition and configuration, climate, and topography on bird diversity is necessary to identify distribution drivers, potential impacts of land use changes, and future conservation strategies. We surveyed bird communities in a study area located in the Central Alps (Autonomous Province of South Tyrol, northe...
Presentation
Research activity financed by RIBA-RIcerca di Base 2021 Aim: Understanding the relationships between territorial management and ES in rural mountain areas considering CC and its impacts on biodiversity, agricultural practices, landscape and "nature-based" recreation Pilot Area: Oltrepò Pavese (SNIA)
Article
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In the last decade, Aedes koreicus and Aedes japonicus japonicus mosquitoes, which are competent vectors for various arboviruses of public health relevance, colonised Italy and other European countries. Nevertheless, information about their current and potential distribution is partial. Accordingly, in this study four regions of Northern Italy (Lom...
Article
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Climate warming and land-use change are reshuffling the distribution of wild organisms on a global scale. Some species may expand their ranges and colonize new regions, which may greatly affect ecological interactions among pre-existing species and colonizers. In the last decades, such processes have originated a unique condition of sympatry among...
Article
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Fine‐scale habitat selection modelling can allow a mechanistic understanding of habitat selection processes, enabling better assessments of the effects of climate and habitat changes on biodiversity. Remotely sensed data provide an ever‐increasing amount of environmental and climatic variables at high spatio‐temporal resolutions, and a unique oppor...
Poster
Full-text available
Understanding and disentangle the effects of landscape composition and configuration, climate, and topography on bird diversity is necessary to identify distribution factors, potential impacts of land-use changes, and future conservation strategies. We studied bird taxonomic and functional diversity within the Biodiversity Monitoring South Tyrol at...
Article
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Unravelling the environmental factors driving species distribution and abundance is crucial in ecology and conservation. Both climatic and land cover factors are often used to describe species distribution/abundance, but their interrelations have been scarcely investigated. Climatic factors may indeed affect species both directly and indirectly, e....
Article
Agricultural intensification is threatening ecosystems and causing the collapse of farmland birds. Biodiversity-rich, semi-natural grasslands dramatically decreased in recent decades and were either intensified, replaced by more remunerative crops or abandoned. We investigated the factors driving habitat selection by corncrake Crex crex, a flagship...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Cold‐adapted species are considered vulnerable to climate change. However, our understanding of how climate‐induced changes in habitat and weather patterns will influence habitat suitability remains poorly understood, particularly for species at high latitudes or elevations. Here, we assessed potential future distributions for a climate‐sensiti...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Individuazione della lista di specie ornitiche che compongono l'indicatore "Popolazioni di uccelli sensibili ai prodotti fitosanitari", facente parte del set di indicatori per il monitoraggio e la valutazione del Piano d'Azione nazionale per l'uso sostenibile dei Prodotti Fitosanitari. Lo scopo dell'indicatore è di rilevare gli effetti delle prati...
Technical Report
Full-text available
2020 update brochure of the Farmland Bird Index (FBI) and Mountain Grassland Species Index (FBIpm) indicators and of the population indices of the related species. In-depth analysis on the project lasting 12 years on research on birds breeding in farmland areas in Italy and on the conservation of farmland birds in Italy: challenges, research and pr...
Technical Report
Full-text available
2018 update brochure of the Farmland Bird Index (FBI) and Mountain Grassland Species Index (FBIpm) indicators and of the population indices of the related species. In-depth analysis on the ecosystem services of common breeding bird species.
Technical Report
Full-text available
2016 update brochure of the Farmland Bird Index (FBI) and Mountain Grassland Species Index (FBIpm) indicators and of the population indices of the related species. In-depth analysis on cap, birds and alpine meadows and the success of generalist species
Article
Many animals make behavioural changes to cope with winter conditions, being gregariousness a common strategy. Several factors have been invoked to explain why gregariousness may evolve during winter, with individuals coming together and separating as they trade off the different costs and benefits of living in groups. These trade-offs may, however,...
Article
Full-text available
Marmora’s Warbler ( Curruca sarda ) and Balearic Warbler ( C. balearica ) are allopatric sibling species and were recently split mostly based on morphological and ethological characteristics. Here we provide the first phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses of this species complex to support the taxonomic status of C. sarda and C. balearica in li...
Article
Conserving functionally diverse bird communities in European farmland is becoming critical, with no exception for regions of wine production. Management intensification combined with the loss of semi‐natural habitats in wine‐growing landscapes has led to a long‐term decline in birds of conservation concern, but also in once common insectivores and...
Article
Full-text available
The genus Crocidura (Eulipotyphla, Soricidae) is the most speciose genus amongst mammals, i.e., it includes the highest number of species. Different species are distinguished by skull morphology, which often prevents the identification of individuals in the field and limits research on these species' ecology and biology. We combined species distrib...
Article
Cultural Ecosystem Services (CES) are the non-material benefits that people get from ecosystems; they have been less frequently investigated and incorporated into the decision-making processes in comparison to other ES. Ecosystems may also provide Cultural Ecosystem Disservices (CED), because of the bad feelings or perceptions they trigger. Nature-...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic zoonosis has determined extensive lockdowns worldwide that provide an unprecedented opportunity to understand how large-scale shifts of human activities can impact wildlife. We addressed the impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on wildlife in Italy, the first European country that performed a countrywide lockdown, and identified p...
Article
We revise the taxonomy of the Sylvia cantillans complex, a group of phenotypically distinct warblers with mainly parapatric distributions around a large part of the Mediterranean basin. We redefine the species limits using a combination of mitochondrial and nuclear markers and we objectively link available names to the genetically defined lineages...
Article
Full-text available
Territorial interactions between animals involve correlated signaling and direct actions, yet different species vary in how they utilize each component. In theory, opponents should balance costs and benefits of territorial interactions, and restrict their conflicts to signaling when physical interactions are likely to escalate to serious injuries....
Article
Protected areas (PAs) have been established to promote the long-term conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. Wetlands, which represent a key habitat worldwide, have been largely destroyed, particularly in more industrialized countries, and their remnants are now often preserved by PA networks, especially in the European Union. We tested the ef...
Article
Climate and land-use change are the most severe threats to biodiversity; their effects are often intermingled, also with those of landscape/habitat management. Birds of mountain grassland are declining throughout Europe. Disentangling climate effects from those of land-cover and management on their occurrence is essential to identify distribution d...
Article
Full-text available
Mountain ecosystems are inhabited by highly specialised and endemic species which are particularly susceptible to climatic changes. However, the mechanisms by which climate change affects species population dynamics are still largely unknown, particularly for mountain birds. We investigated how weather variables correlate with survival or movement...
Article
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Timing of reproduction is a critical life-history trait and implies major fitness consequences. Differences in life history strategies can lead to different responses to the same environmental conditions even among closely related species. Investigating the factors affecting the timing of reproduction in closely related and sympatric species may he...
Article
Vineyards are experiencing strong expansion and management intensification worldwide, especially in areas with a Mediterranean climate, which are often characterized by a high conservation value. This is posing concerns about their environmental impact and it is fostering research on biodiversity patterns and ecosystem services in this agroecosyste...
Article
Full-text available
Information about distribution and habitat use of organisms is crucial for conservation. Bird distribution within the breeding season has been usually considered static, but this assumption has been questioned. Within-season movements may allow birds to track changes in habitat quality or to adjust site choice between subsequent breeding attempts....
Article
Landslides are a common issue in mountains and other areas with slopes, and their frequency is increasing because of climate change. Interventions aiming at stabilizing slopes are thus common worldwide. The environmental monitoring of consequences of such interventions rarely consider the potential impacts on wild species, and especially on animal...
Chapter
Agricultural areas provide non-commodity outputs besides food and fiber that can contribute to sustainability. Balancing the interest of farmers and the benefits for the society is a key challenge. Assessing the potential benefits for biodiversity and understanding spatial and temporal trade-offs among multiple ecosystem services (ES) from agricult...
Article
The White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis nivalis is assumed to be highly threatened by climate change, but this high elevation species has been little studied and the current breeding distribution is accurately known only for a minor portion of its range. Here, we provide a detailed and spatially explicit identification of the potentially...
Article
Full-text available
Capsule: Wintering Water Rails Rallus aquaticus prefer small and narrow rivers, with large patches of wet emergent vegetation, and showed active response to playback, especially when they occurred in pairs. Aims: To investigate the habitat preferences and behaviour of Water Rails wintering in riverine ecosystems in eastern Poland. Methods: The stud...
Article
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Land abandonment and rewilding are among the main processes affecting landscape evolution in Europe, threatening many conservation-concern species associated with semi-natural habitats shaped by traditional farming activities. In this paper, we explored land-use changes occurred in some pre-alpine areas since 1954 and formulated a model in order to...
Article
In recent decades, upland hay-meadows underwent large transformations due to the modernization of livestock husbandry system. Such changes impacted on biodiversity, but their consequences on the upper levels of the food web (e.g. birds) are largely unknown. Grassland specialists could respond differently to landscape structure and management practi...
Article
Full-text available
Italy harbours a large proportion of the breeding populations of several threatened or declining farmland species, but has been under-represented for a long time in studies about ecology and conservation of farmland birds. In the last two decades, several studies have partially filled the gap, providing key knowledge for their conservation; however...
Article
During breeding, parents of avian species must increase their foraging efforts to collect food for their offspring, besides themselves. Foraging trips are thus a key aspect of the foraging ecology of central-place foragers when rearing their offspring. However, studies of the foraging ecology of high-elevation specialists inhabiting harsh environme...
Article
The selection of relevant factors and appropriate spatial scale(s) is fundamental when modelling species response to climate change. We evaluated whether the effects of climate factors on species distribution/occurrence are consistently modelled over different spatial scales in birds, and used a two‐scale approach to identify species‐climate correl...
Article
Full-text available
Inland wetlands are crucial for biodiversity conservation, especially in highly-urbanized landscapes. In the European Union, many wetlands are included in the EU ‘Natura 2000’ network, the main tool for biodiversity conservation over the continent, which requires the development of site-specific management plans. Clear and feasible recommendations...
Article
Capsule: Fine-scale use of climate-sensitive habitats by White-winged Snowfinches Montifringilla nivalis is affected by landscape composition, which thus modulates the potential impact of climate change. Aims: To explore the fine-scale habitat use for foraging by breeding White-winged Snowfinches, with the aim of identifying the potential impacts o...
Article
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1. Semi‐natural grasslands are among the richest European ecosystems in terms of biodiversity. However, they have been severely affected by farming intensification and land abandonment, which have been both exacerbated by the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The most recent CAP included a ‘greening’ measure dedicated to grassland...
Article
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The use of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as bioindicators of environmental change depends on the reliability and the effectiveness of the sampling methods. Those that have been tested in the temperate zone and in tropical forests still await experimentation in tropical high-altitude environments. For the first time, pitfall trapping and ha...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the fine-scale habitat use by black woodpeckers all year round. We aimed to describe what environmental factors mostly affect species occurrence at a fine-grained scale in the Caspian Hyrcanian forest, Northern Iran, in a poorly studied portion of the species range. Presence and absence of birds and habitat variables (forest cover t...
Article
The majority of predictions about the impacts of climate change on wildlife have relied either on the study of species' physiological tolerance or on broad-scale distribution models. In comparison, little attention has been paid to species' mechanistic responses to fine-grained, climate-induced modifications of habitat suitability. However, such st...
Article
Agriculture, during its millenarian history, had contributed to shape impressive cultural landscapes; however, in recent decades, many of these have been lost or degraded because of widespread intensification or abandon-ment. Low-intensive agricultural landscapes are of utmost importance for biodiversity conservation and the delivery of cultural ec...
Poster
Full-text available
Sull’arco alpino gli effetti dei cambiamenti climatici hanno già causato importanti alterazioni ad habitat e specie. In Italia specie legate ad ambienti freddi hanno subito contrazioni di areale più forti rispetto a specie legate ad ambienti caldi. Il fringuello alpino Montifringilla nivalis è nidificante su Alpi e Appennini in habitat alpini, sub-...
Article
Quantifying species distributions using species distribution models (SDMs) has emerged as a central method in modern biogeography. These empirical models link species occurrence data with spatial environmental information. Since their emergence in the 1990s, thousands of scientific papers have used SDMs to study organisms across the entire tree of...
Article
Full-text available
1. Patterns of species richness and species assemblage composition of ground-dwelling arthropods in primary successions along glacier forelands are traditionally described using a taxonomic approach. On the other hand, the functional trait approach could ensure a better characterisation of their colonisation strategies in these types of habitat. 2...
Article
In intensive farmland, it is often difficult to find charismatic and evocative species to serve as a flagship to inspire conservation actions and awareness. Here, 'non-traditional' flagship species may play a fundamental role in promoting more sustainable and biodiversity-friendly agriculture and achieving conservation targets in this strongly arti...