Robin J. Pakeman

Robin J. Pakeman
James Hutton Institute · Ecological Sciences Research

MA Natural Sciences, Cambridge

About

264
Publications
69,772
Reads
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10,165
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2000 - present
University of Liverpool
Description
  • Visiting Professorship
June 1997 - present
James Hutton Institute
Description
  • Research on vegetation dynamics and functional ecology of plant communities. Management of Community Ecology Managment of Scottish Government workpackage on "the resilience of Scotland's biodiversity to land use and climate chnage"
Education
October 1986 - December 1989
The University of Manchester
Field of study
  • Ecology
October 1983 - June 1986
University of Cambridge (Jesus College)
Field of study
  • Botany

Publications

Publications (264)
Preprint
Full-text available
Ecological theory posits that temporal stability patterns in plant populations are associated with differences in species ecological strategies. However, empirical evidence is lacking about which traits, or trade-offs, underlie species stability, specially across different ecosystems. To address this, we compiled a global collection of long-term pe...
Article
The attribution of biodiversity trends to the action of individual drivers is a first step in developing strategies to conserve, enhance and restore that diversity. One approach to that identification is to link information on species trends with information on ecological preferences that relate to the drivers. Long-term and short-term occupancy tr...
Article
Analysing temporal patterns in plant communities is extremely important to quantify the extent and the consequences of ecological changes, especially considering the current biodiversity crisis. Long‐term data collected through the regular sampling of permanent plots represent the most accurate resource to study ecological succession, analyse the s...
Article
Better understanding of the mechanistic basis of plant plasticity will enhance efforts to breed crops resilient to predicted climate change. However, complexity in plasticity’s conceptualisation and measurement may hinder fruitful crossover of concepts between disciplines that would enable such advances. We argue active adaptive plasticity is parti...
Article
Full-text available
The relevance of intercropping, where two or more crop species are simultaneously grown on the same land space, is growing due to its potential for improving resource use and maintaining stable yields under variable weather conditions. However, the actual growth of intercropped species may differ resulting from the idiosyncratic effect of crop dive...
Article
Full-text available
Many ecosystems are grazed by livestock or large, wild herbivores and exist as mosaics of different vegetation communities. Changing grazing could have an impact on heterogeneity as well as on composition. A long-term, large-scale grazing experiment that maintained existing low-intensity sheep grazing, tripled it, removed it and partially substitut...
Article
Ellenberg indicator values for plant species are widely used metrics in ecology, providing a proxy measure of environmental conditions, without direct measurements. They integrate environmental conditions over time since species will only persist where conditions are favourable. Ellenberg moisture (F) values summarise the hydrological environment e...
Preprint
Plasticity is a widely used concept in plant sciences, but there is inconsistency over its interpretation and measurement. One aspect of plasticity – adaptive plasticity – may be particularly important in shaping plant fitness and reproductive success and represents the first line of a plants defence to environmental change. Here, we define adaptiv...
Article
Full-text available
Plant mycorrhizal status (a trait indicating the ability to form mycorrhizas) can be a useful plant trait for predicting changes in vegetation influenced by increased fertility. Mycorrhizal fungi enhance nutrient uptake and are expected to provide a competitive advantage for plants growing in nutrient-poor soils; while in nutrient-rich soils, mycor...
Preprint
Full-text available
Analysing temporal patterns in plant communities is extremely important to quantify the extent and the consequences of ecological changes, especially considering the current biodiversity crisis. Long-term data collected through the regular sampling of permanent plots represent the most accurate resource to study ecological succession, analyse the s...
Article
Questions Hydrological niche segregation is widespread and has been found across a range of different habitats. Different plant species can occupy distinct hydrological niches, and as a result fine-scale variability in hydrology can structure plant communities. However, these patterns may not be as clear in habitats where differences in hydrology a...
Article
Full-text available
Aims Understanding fine-grain diversity patterns across large spatial extents is fundamental for macroecological research and biodiversity conservation. Using the GrassPlot database, we provide benchmarks of fine-grain richness values of Palaearctic open habitats for vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens and complete vegetation (i.e., the sum of the...
Article
Enhancing diversity within crop systems can have benefits including increased resource use efficiency and productivity, and increased control of weeds, pests and diseases. Some benefits are expected to operate through biodiversity-driven insurance effects, whereby enhanced diversity increases the chance that a system component can compensate for th...
Article
Full-text available
The global scientific community has become increasingly diverse over recent decades, but is this ongoing development also reflected among top‐publishing authors and potential scientific leaders? We surveyed 13 leading journals in ecology, evolution, and conservation to investigate the diversity of the 100 top‐publishing authors in each journal betw...
Article
1. We review the need for increasing agricultural sustainability, how this can in part be delivered by positive biodiversity–ecosystem function (BEF) effects, the role within these of plant–plant facilitation, and how a better understanding of this role may help to deliver sustainable crop (particularly arable) production systems. 2. Major challeng...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Climate and land use are key determinants of biodiversity, with past and ongoing changes posing serious threats to global ecosystems. Unlike most other organism groups, plant species can possess dormant life‐history stages such as soil seed banks, which may help plant communities to resist or at least postpone the detrimental impact of global c...
Article
Full-text available
Questions Compensatory dynamics are described as one of the main mechanisms that increase community stability, e.g. where decreases of some species on a year‐to‐year basis are offset by an increase in others. Deviations from perfect synchrony between species (asynchrony) have therefore been advocated as an important mechanism underlying biodiversit...
Article
The stability of ecological communities is critical for the stable provisioning of ecosystem services, such as food and forage production, carbon sequestration, and soil fertility. Greater biodiversity is expected to enhance stability across years by decreasing synchrony among species, but the drivers of stability in nature remain poorly resolved....
Article
Full-text available
The stability of ecological communities is critical for the stable provisioning of ecosystem services, such as food and forage production, carbon sequestration, and soil fertility. Greater biodiversity is expected to enhance stability across years by decreasing synchrony among species, but the drivers of stability in nature remain poorly resolved....
Article
Empirical critical loads are widely used to quantify and manage the ecological impacts of reactive nitrogen (N) deposition. Critical load values aim to identify a level of N deposition below which significant harmful effects do not occur according to present knowledge. Critical loads have been primarily based on experiments, but these are few in nu...
Article
Questions How do changes in grazing impact functional traits in habitat mosaics? Which habitats are sensitive to management changes? Location Mosaic of open upland habitats, including Agrostis‐Festuca and Nardus grasslands, Carex and Molinia mires, bracken and wet heath, southern Highlands of Scotland, UK. Methods Four grazing treatments were sta...
Article
Full-text available
The intensity of pastoral management in areas of High Nature Value farming is declining in some regions of Europe but increasing in others. This affects open habitats of conservation concern, such as the British uplands, where bird species that benefit from low‐intensity grazing may be most sensitive to such polarization. While experimental manipul...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Phylogenetic diversity quantification is based on indices computed from phylogenetic distances among species, which are derived from phylogenetic trees. This approach requires phylogenetic expertise and available molecular data, or a fully sampled synthesis‐based phylogeny. Here, we propose and evaluate a simpler alternative approach based...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Technical Report
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As there is no agreed national list of species of socio-economic and/or cultural value for Scotland, a set of criteria for selecting species has been developed. These include: • Species prioritised for conservation value • Species identified as being culturally important • Species providing important ecosystem services • Game species • Species coll...
Article
Full-text available
The use of functional information in the form of species traits plays an important role in explaining biodiversity patterns and responses to environmental changes. Although relationships between species composition, their traits, and the environment have been extensively studied on a case-by-case basis, results are variable, and it remains unclear...
Article
There is a drive to improve the sustainability of agricultural systems including the biodiversity component. Cultivar mixtures offer yield benefits from the same land area, but the mechanisms behind this overyielding have not been completely worked out. One potential mechanism is improved competition with weeds. We use an experimental approach of v...
Article
Understanding the contributions from the environment to society is seen as increasingly important globally. In Scotland this is currently a high priority, as policymakers begin to shift attention away from traditional wellbeing indicators such as GDP. Although alternative natural capital accounting techniques exist, and are useful for creating comm...
Article
Full-text available
Plant growth in nitrogen (N)-limited, unfertilised terrestrial ecosystems should respond to additional N inputs from atmospheric deposition (Ndep). We investigated this for sites in Great Britain (GB) by compiling 796 estimates of net primary productivity (NPP) from measured biomass production over the period 1932–2014, although the great majority...
Article
1.Marginal agricultural land, which in the UK refers to upland grazings in particular, is going to see changes in management driven by markets, subsidies, grants and environmental change with implications for biodiversity. 2. Using a large‐scale, long‐term grazing experiment in the UK uplands we assessed the impact of intensification (tripling shee...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental policy decisions should be based on robust indicators of changes in the environment. In Scotland these have been formalised as Ecosystem Health Indicators. Indicators work best where there is a direct link between what is measured and environmental change; changes in indices of species diversity or abundance provide alerts to environm...
Article
Here we summarise the main findings from recent work investigating site recovery following the removal of invasive rhododendron from Atlantic oak woodland sites across the west coast of Scotland. Published in Conservation Land Management, sister publication to British Wildlife, and not listed on ResearchGate. Good series for British conservationis...
Article
Nitrogen (N) deposition poses a severe risk to global terrestrial ecosystems, and managing this threat is an important focus for air pollution science and policy. To understand and manage the impacts of N deposition, we need metrics which accurately reflect N deposition pressure on the environment, and are responsive to changes in both N deposition...
Article
Full-text available
The restoration of peatland function and services on damaged peatland sites is seen as an increasingly important goal for ecological, environmental and societal reasons. Restoration monitoring often places fauna as secondary in importance to water table depth and vegetation, and when carried out, it often focuses on taxonomic indices. The use of fu...
Article
Invasive plant impacts vary widely across introduced ranges. We tested the hypothesis that differences in the eco‐evolutionary experience of native communities with the invader correspond with the impacts of invasive species on native vegetation, with impacts increasing with ecological novelty. We compared plant species richness and composition ben...
Article
Full-text available
GrassPlot is a collaborative vegetation-plot database organised by the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG) and listed in the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD ID EU-00-003). GrassPlot collects plot records (relevés) from grasslands and other open habitats of the Palaearctic biogeographic realm. It focuses on precisely delimited plots...
Article
Many habitats of conservation importance are grazed by large herbivores, but spatial variation in grazing intensity can complicate management planning. We tested the effect of local herbivore density and the proximity of alternative preferred plant communities on the distribution of large herbivore impacts on vegetation. We analysed Habitat Impact...
Presentation
Please go to this address: http://arcg.is/q08iX The Natural Assets Theme of the Scottish Government's Strategic Research Programme 2016-21 is concerned with identification, quantification and valuation of Scotland’s environmental assets, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Modelling and mapping of key indicators of ecosystem services is an esse...
Article
Plant variation in nutrient concentrations encompasses two major axes. The first is connected to nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), reflects growth rate and has been designated as the leaf economics spectrum (LES) while the second follows the gradient in calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) and mirrors cell structural differences. Here, we tested in grass...
Article
Despite the important roles ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) play in ecosystems, the highly valued ecosystem services they provide, and ample descriptive documentation of their phenology, the relative impact of various environmental factors on carabid phenology is not well studied. Using the long-term pitfall trap capture data from 12 terrest...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The boundary between productive land and hill land in Scotland has moved over time, in response to climate and also to market demand. Scotland's climate is changing, and this will mean changes for those areas of Scotland that sit on the margins of productive agriculture. [...] The potential impact of climate change on marginal land was identified b...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Intensive farming affects farmland biodiversity, and some arable plants in particular. Increasing crop genetic diversity can increase crop productivity or resilience and could also benefit rare arable plants. Aims: We examined whether barley presence, sowing density and genetic diversity impacted the rare plant Valerianella rimosa and e...
Article
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The soil seed bank plays an important role in determining what plant species emerge following the removal of monodominant invasive species. A depleted seed bank may provide a substantial barrier to site restoration, however, little is known about what changes occur in the seed bank during invasion and following clearance. This study used greenhouse...
Article
The predicted long lag time between a decrease in atmospheric deposition and a measured response in vegetation has generally excluded the investigation of vegetation recovery from the impacts of atmospheric deposition. However, policy-makers require such evidence to assess whether policy decisions to reduce emissions will have a positive impact on...
Article
Following removal of the invasive species Rhododendron ponticum, the native understorey plant community typically fails to reestablish itself. Potential explanations for this failure include (1) lack of an appropriate native seed source; (2) inability of seed to penetrate a dense bryophyte layer; and (3) persistence of chemical “legacy effects” in...
Article
It is well known that soils are influenced by the plant species that grow in them. Here we consider the effects of management-induced changes to plant communities and their soils during restoration within a 20-year manipulative experiment where the aim was to change a late-successional community dominated by the weed, Pteridium aquilinum, to an ear...
Article
To test a recently developed method of assessing functional beta-diversity – as the difference in location of the convex hull in trait space - as a means of assessing the impact of species loss and colonisation over time on functional composition. This approach was tested using data from a survey and subsequent resurvey of Scottish coastal vegetati...
Article
Analysis of changes in functional traits and functional diversity offers a means of identifying the main environmental drivers of change, the impacts of that change on community assembly and the consequence of change on ecosystem function and service delivery. Changes in key traits and functional diversity in Scottish grasslands were analysed for a...
Article
Fertile soil is fundamental to our ability to achieve food security, but problems with soil degradation (such as acidification) are exacerbated by poor management. Consequently, there is a need to better understand management approaches that deliver multiple ecosystem services from agricultural land. There is global interest in sustainable soil man...
Article
Increased awareness of the negative impacts of invasive non-native species has led to a rapid increase in clearance programs around the world. One of the main goals of clearance is the restoration of native communities that were present pre-invasion. Little monitoring is typically carried out, however, to verify that native communities return witho...
Article
Assessing effectiveness of international biodiversity targets requires long-term monitoring of species to identify changes in their abundance. Grasslands cover large areas of many countries, provide high levels of provisioning ecosystem services and are an important habitat for many species. While grasslands are often anthropogenic in nature, human...
Article
A growing awareness of the destructive effects of non-native invasive species has led to a massive increase in removal programmes around the world. However, little is generally known about what happens to sites following the removal of the invasives and the implicit assumption that the native community will return, unaided, to pre-invasion conditio...
Article
Full-text available
Non-native predators can cause major declines or even localised extinctions in prey populations across the globe, especially on islands. The removal of non-native predators can, therefore, be a crucial conservation management tool but there can be challenges when they are viewed as charismatic in their own right. Four decades after their introducti...
Article
Coastal habitats are rich in biodiversity and provide highly valued ecosystem services. However, they are subject to many environmental drivers that can have severe impacts on these inherently fragile ecosystems. A resurvey approach was used to assess changes in species’ abundances and occupancy on sand dunes and machair in Scotland, UK to assess h...
Article
Full-text available
The accumulation of biodiversity in space and time has been modelled extensively using the species-area relationship and the species-time relationship, respectively. Recently, these models have been combined into time-area curves in order to investigate spatiotemporal scaling of species richness. This study expands on previous research by applying...