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Wind farms have cascading impacts on ecosystems across trophic levels

Thaker, Maria and Zambre, Amod and Bhosale, Harshal (2018) Wind farms have cascading impacts on ecosystems across trophic levels. In: NATURE ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, 2 (12). pp. 1854-1858.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0707-z

Abstract

Wind farms are a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels for mitigating the effects of climate change, but they also have complex ecological consequences. In the biodiversity hotspot of the Western Ghats in India, we find that wind farms reduce the abundance and activity of predatory birds (for example, Buteo, Butastur and Elanus species), which consequently increases the density of lizards, Sarada superba. The cascading effects of wind turbines on lizards include changes in behaviour, physiology and morphology that reflect a combination of predator release and density-dependent competition. By adding an effective trophic level to the top of food webs, we find that wind farms have emerging impacts that are greatly underestimated. There is thus a strong need for an ecosystem-wide view when aligning green-energy goals with environment protection.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Francis Jayakanth
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2019 12:02
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/61377

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