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Sönke Eggers

Sönke Eggers
My research involves basic ecology, social sciences and economics that allow farmers, NGO´s and advisors to share their knowledge, and together create regional conservation recommendations by which producer constrains can be accommodated in the context of wildlife-friendly farming and forestry without reducing production.


Damming the decline: collaboration for more biodiversity in agricultural and forest landscapes

The need to balance humanity’s increasing demand for food and biofuels with sustainable development has never been greater. These growing demands are not only pressing against the limits of forestry and agricultural production but contribute to the deterioration of several environmental qualities fundamental to human well-being, including soil and water quality, crop diversity and ecosystem services provided by plants, birds and insects. Alongside global warming, these ecosystem changes pose a serious threat to food security, and the socio-economic viability of European agriculture and forestry production. Therefore my research heads to better understand both local and regional patterns of biodiversity change (i.e. from individual behaviour to population ecology) in these systems and the drivers responsible for them. This knowledge provides important guidance for effective policy making that can achieve positive changes in reversing biodiversity loss when appropriate. However, involving stakeholders in the process is the only way real progress can be achieved. For instance, agri-environmental policies, such as organic farming, are often seen as a trade-off against development to fight the global food crisis. Instead, a common strategy proposed to balance biodiversity and agriculture is to maximise yields at the farm scale, while separate reserves on non-crop land target biodiversity at the broader landscape scale. However, most species that persist in present post-intensified landscapes rely on managed land and it is questionable if crop production and farmland biodiversity can be reconciled by spatially separating arable fields from wildlife areas.

Fenale with nestlingReineJohnsson.jpg
Siberian Jay. Photo: Reine Johnsson
Photo: Sönke Eggers

Selected publications

M Żmihorski, G Hebda, S Eggers, J Månsson, T Abrahamsson, ...(2019) Early post-fire bird community in European boreal forest: Comparing salvage-logged with non-intervention areas. Global Ecology and Conservation, 18, e00636


Rubene, D., Leidefors, M., Nincovic V., Eggers, S, Low, M (2018) Disentangling olfactory and visual information used by field foraging birds.  Ecology and Evolution 9 (1), 545-552

Jonas Josefsson, Tomas Pärt, Åke Berg, Anne Marike Lokhorst, Sönke Eggers (2018) Landscape context and farm uptake limit effects of bird conservation in the Swedish Volunteer & Farmer Alliance Journal of Applied Ecology, 55(6), 2719-2730

Neal R Haddaway, Colin Brown, Jacqui Eales, Sönke Eggers, Jonas Josefsson, Brian Kronvang, Nicola P Randall, Jaana Uusi-Kämppä (2018) The multifunctional roles of vegetated strips around and within agricultural fieldsEnvironmental Evidence 7 (1), 14

Martijn Versluijs, Sönke Eggers, Joakim Hjältén, Therese Löfroth, Jean-Michel Roberge (2017) Ecological restoration in boreal forest modifies the structure of bird assemblages. Forest Ecology and Mangement 401, Pages 75-88

Griesser, M., Mourocq, E., Barnaby, J., Bowgen, K.M., Eggers, S., Fletcher, K. ... (2017) Experience buffers extrinsic mortality in a group‐living bird species. Oikos 126(9, 1258-1268

Josefsson, J., Lokhorst, AM, Pärt, T., Berg Å. & Eggers, S. (2017) Effects of a coordinated farmland bird conservation project on farmers' intentions to implement nature conservation practices – Evidence from the Swedish Volunteer & Farmer Alliance. Journal of Environmental Management, 187:8-15
Josefsson, J., Berg, Å., Hiron, M., Pärt, T. & Eggers, S. (2016) Does the CAP fit? Sensitivity of the farmland bird community to crop diversification in Sweden. Journal of Applied Ecology

Emmersson, M., Morales, M.B., Oñate, J.J., Batáry, P., Berendse, F., Liira, J., ¶, Aavik,T., Guerrero,I., Bommarco, R., Eggers, S., Pärt, T., Tscharntke, T., Weisser, W. & Bengtsson, J. (2016) How agricultural intensification affects biodiversity and ecosystem services. Advances in Ecological Research 55:43-97

Haddeway, N.R., Brown, C., Eggers, S., Josefsson, J., Kronwang, B., Randall, N. & Uusi    Kämppä, J. (2016) The multifunctional roles of vegetated strips around and within agricultural fields. A systematic map protocol. Environmental Evidence, 5, 18
Hiron, M., Berg, Å., Eggers, S., Berggren, Å., Josefsson, J. & Pärt, T. (2015) The relationship of bird diversity to crop and non-crop heterogeneity in agricultural landscapes. Landscape Ecology, 30, 1-13

Öberg, M., Arlt, D., Eggers, S., Laugen, A., Pärt, T. & Low, M. (2015) Rainfall during parental care reduces reproductive and survival components of fitness in a passerines bird. Ecology and Evolution, 5, 1-12
Eggers, S. & Low, M. (2014) Differential demographic responses of sympatric Parids to vegetation management in boreal forest. Forest Ecology and Management, 319, 169–175

Josefsson, J., Åke, B., Hiron, M., Pärt,T., Eggers, S. (2013) Grass buffer strips benefit invertebrate and breeding skylark numbers in a heterogeneous agricultural landscape. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 181, 101-107

Hiron, M., Berg, Å.,  Eggers, S., Josefsson, J., Pärt, T. (2013) Bird diversity relates to agri environment schemes at local and landscape level in intensive farmland. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 181, 101-107

Angelstam, P., Jean-Michel Roberge, Robert Axelsson, Marine Elbakidze, Karl-Olof   Bergman, Anders Dahlberg, Erik Degerman, Sönke Eggers, Per-Anders Esseen, Joakim Hjältén, Therese Johansson, Jörg Müller, Heidi Paltto, Tord Snäll, Ihor Soloviy, Johan Törnblom (2013) Evidence-based knowledge versus negotiated  indicators for assessment of ecological sustainability: the Swedish forest stewardship council standard as a case study. Ambio, 42, 229-240

Hiron, M., Berg, Å., Eggers, S., Pärt, T. (2012) Are farmsteads over-looked biodiversity  hotspots in intensive agricultural ecosystems? Biological Conservation, 159, 332-342

Guerrero I, Morales M.B, Oñate J.J, Geiger F, Berendse F, de Snoo G, Eggers S, Pärt T,   Bengtsson, Clement L.W, Weisser W.W, Olszewski A, Ceryngier P, Hawro V, Liira J, Dennis C, Emmerson M, Fischer C, Flohre A, Thies C, Tscharntke T (2012) Response of ground-nesting farmland birds to agricultural intensification  across Europe: landscape versus field level management factors. Biological Conservation, 152, 74-80

Guerrero, I., Morales, M.B., Onate, J.J., Aavil, T., Bengtsson, J., Berendse, F., Clement,    L.W., Dennis, C., Eggers, S. Emmersson, M., Fischer, C., Flohre, A., Geiger, F., Hawro, V., Inchausti, P., Kalamees, A., Kinks, R., L.,  Pärt et al. (2011) Taxonomic and functional diversity of farmland bird communities across Europe: effects of biogeography and agricultural intensification. Biodiversity and Conservation, 20, 3663-3681

Eggers, S., Unell, M. & Pärt, T. (2011) Autumn sowing of cereals reduces breeding bird  numbers in a heterogeneous agrcltural landscape. Biological Conservation, 144, 1137-1144.

Winqvist, C., Bengtsson, J. Aavik, T., Berendse, F. Clemens, L.W., Eggers, S., Fischer, C., Flohre, A. Geiger, F., Liira, J., Pärt, T., Carsten, T., Tscharntke, T., Weisser, W., Bommarco, R. (2011) Mixed effects of organic farming and landscape   complexity on farmland biodiversity and biological control potential across Europe. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48, 570-579.

Flohre, A., Fischer, C., Aavik, T., Bengtsson, J., Berendse, F., Bommarco, R.,  Ceryngier,  P., Clement,L.W.,  Dennis, C.,  Eggers, S., Emmerson, M., Geiger, F., Guerrero, I., Hawro, V., Inchausti, P., Liira, J., Morales, M., Onate, J., Pärt, T., Tscharntke, T. et al. (2011) Agricultural intensification and biodiversity partitioning in European landscapes comparing plants, carabids and birds. Ecological Applications, 21, 1772-1781

Geiger, F., de Snoo, G. R., Berendse, F., Guerrero, I, Morales, M.B., Oñate, J.J., Eggers,    S., Pärt, T., Bommarco, R., Bengtsson, J., Clement, L., Weisser, Tscharntke, T. et al. (2010) Landscape composition influence farm management effects on farmland  birds in winter: a pan-European approach. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 139, 571-577

Geiger, F., Bengtsson, J., Berendse, F., Weisser, W., Emmerson, M, Morales, M., Ceryngier, P., Liira, J., Tscharnke, T., Winqvist, C. Eggers, S, Bommarco, R., Pärt, T., Bretagnolle, V., Plantegenest, M., Clement, L., Dennis, C. et al. (2010)     Persistent negative effects of pesticides on biodiversity and biological control on European farmland. Basic and Applied Ecology, 11, 97-105.

Nystrand, M., Griesser, M., Eggers, S. & Ekman, J. (2010) Habitat-specific demography  and source–sink dynamics in a population of Siberian jays. Journal of Animal Ecology, 79, 266-274.

Low, M., Arlt, D., Eggers, S. & Pärt, T. (2010) Habitat-specific differences in adult survival rates and its links to parental workload and on-nest predation. Journal of Animal Ecology, 79, 214-224.

Gontier, M., Eggers, S., Mörtberg, U.M. & Lindström, Å (2008) Modeling habitat    preferences and differences in two Parus species in an urbanizing region. PaperV, in Gontier, M.Spatial prediction tools for biodiversity in environmental assessment. Doctorial Thesis in Land and water Resources Engineering, Stockholm, TRITA-LWR 1041.

Eggers, S., Griesser, M. and Ekman, J. (2008) Predator-induced reductions in nest visitation rates are modified by forest cover and food availability. Behavioral Ecology, 19, 1056-1062

Low, M., Eggers, S., Arlt, D. & Pärt, T. (2008) Daily patterns of nest visits are correlated    with ambient temperature in the Northern Wheatear. Journal of Ornithology, 149: 515-519.

Griesser, M., Nystrand, M., Eggers, S. & Ekman, J. (2007) Social constraints limit dispersal and settlement decisions in a group-living bird species. Behavioral Ecology, 19,317-324.

Griesser, M., Nystrand, M, Eggers, S. & Ekman, J. (2007) Impact of forestry practices on fitness correlates and population productivity in an open-nesting bird species. Conservation Biology, 21, 767-774.

Eggers, S., Griesser, M.; Nystrand, M. and Ekman, J. (2006) Predation risk induces changes in nest-site selection and clutch size in Siberian jays. Proceeding of the Royal Society B, 273, 701-706.

Eggers, S., Griesser, M., Andersson, T. & Ekman, J. (2005) Nest predation and habitat   change interact to influence Siberian jay numbers. Oikos, 111, 150-158.

Eggers, S., Griesser, M. & Ekman, J. (2005) Predator-induced plasticity in nest visitation rates in the Siberian jay. Behavioral Ecology, 16, 30-315.

Eggers, S (2002) Behavioural and life-history responses to chick provisioning under risk of nest predation. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 773.

Ekman, J., Eggers, S. & Griesser, M. (2002) Fighting for to stay; the role of sibling rivalry for delayed dispersal. Animal Behaviour, 64, 453-459.

Ekman, J., Baglione, V., Eggers, S. & Griesser, M. (2001) Delayed dispersal: living under the reign of nepotistic parents. Auk, 118, 1-10.

Ekman, J., Eggers, S., Griesser, M. & Tegelström, H. (2001) Queuing for preferred      territories: delayed dispersal of Siberian jays. Journal of Animal Ecology, 70(2):317 - 324

Eggers, S. (2000) Compensatory frugivory in migratory Sylvia warblers: geographical  responses to season length. Journal of Avian Biology, 31, 63-74.

Researcher at the Department of Ecology; Landscape Ecology Unit
Telephone: 018-672630, 076-8283848
Postal address:
Inst för Ekologi, Box 7044
750 07 UPPSALA
Visiting address: Ulls Väg 16, Uppsala