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From Science:Wind Turbines Don't Make Birds Fly the Coop  

2008-10-05 17:14:09|  分类: 轉的 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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By Michael Price
ScienceNOW Daily News
3 October 2008

2008100321 When it comes to disrupting the winter nesting of farmland birds, wind turbines don't appear to ruffle too many feathers. Researchers have found that the energy-generating machines caused only 1 out of 23 species studied to change its behavior. That's welcome news for both environmentalists and wind-energy companies looking to produce environmentally friendly power at low cost to local ecology.


The European Union recently set a goal for 20% of Europe's energy supply to come from renewable sources by 2020. A substantial amount of that energy will likely come from onshore and offshore wind farms. So far, most wind-energy companies have focused their efforts on building offshore wind turbines, and consequently most studies into the environmental effects of wind turbines have looked at their effects on coastal bird populations. These studies have shown that offshore wind farms are largely safe for migrating birds. But a few have studied the impact of wind farms in onshore environments, such as farmlands and moorlands. More and more European energy companies are looking to windswept lowlands for potential development, says Mark Whittingham, an ecologist at Newcastle University in the U.K., who decided to find out whether wind turbines on farmlands might displace local bird populations.

歐盟最近落實了一個目標,即到2020年,歐洲20%的能源供應來自於可再生資源.這些能源其中的很大一部分可能來自向岸風和離岸風能農場.到目前為止,多數風能公司都主要集中開發建造離岸風車.因此,多數環境影響研究都著眼於離岸風車對海濱鳥類數量的影響.這些研究表明,離岸風農場對遷移的小鳥大體上是安全的.但卻很少有研究著眼於向岸風農場的影響,例如農田和高沼地."歐洲越來越多能源公司找那些風力充足的低洼地區作為它們潛在的發展目標."來自英國Newcastle University的Mark Whittingham,一個要查明農場上的風車是否會影響到當地鳥兒數量的生態學家,如斯說.

Whittingham and his colleagues surveyed birds near two wind farms in East Anglia, an eastern peninsula of England. They canvassed the farmlands and plotted the individual birds they encountered over 2 months in the winter of 2007. In total, the team recorded nearly 3000 birds from 23 different species, including five of high concern to conservationists: the yellowhammer, the Eurasian tree sparrow, the corn bunting, the Eurasian skylark, and the common reed bunting. Whittingham then analyzed the distribution of these birds at various distances from the turbines to almost a kilometer. He found that only one species, the common pheasant, seemed to nest farther away from the turbines--a nonissue, Whittingham says, because pheasants can easily adapt to new locations. The rest paid them no heed. The turbines, it turned out, don't seem to disrupt the birds' choice of grazing and nesting locations, the team reports this week in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

2007年冬天,Whittingham和他的同事觀察了位於英格蘭東部半島East Anglia上的兩個風能農場附近的鳥類.他們細細考察了農場環境和跟蹤標識了兩個多月來碰到的小鳥個體.最終他們總共標識了將近3000隻,來自23個不同品種的小鳥,其中包括五個對生態平衡非常重要的品種:yellowhammer, Eurasian tree sparrow, corn bunting, Eurasian skylark以及common reed bunting. Whittingham隨後分析了這些鳥兒在風車方圓一公里內,不同範圍內的分布.(?)他發現衹有common pheasant這一個品種好像會選擇離風車更遠的地方筑巢."這沒什麽大礙,"Whittingham說,"因為pheasnat很容易適應新的地理環境."其他的品種則沒什麽異樣."由此看來,風車不會擾亂鳥兒們牧草和筑巢的地點選擇."研究小組本周在Journal of Applied Ecology發表報告說.

That suggests to Whittingham that farmlands might make suitable real estate for future wind-farm developers, although more research is needed to examine potential effects. For one, he says, the timing of his study might matter. Birds' winter behavior might differ from their behavior at other times of the year. Also, his team didn't look at how many birds are killed by the turbines themselves, Whittingham says, but he thinks that it's unlikely to be a significant number. Farmland birds, he says, are typically relatively small and can easily maneuver around turbines. (Turbine blades are much more dangerous for bats, though. See ScienceNOW, 25 August).


John Quinn, a zoologist at Oxford University in the U.K. who studies bird behavior, says the study "seems like a solid piece of work--the results are pretty convincing." But he echoes Whittingham's concerns about the study's limitations. A number of factors besides raw population distribution should be considered for future research, Quinn says. For instance, turbines might displace younger birds because they aren't as accustomed to the turbines, which could have implications for their future nesting choices. "You'd also want to be careful drawing conclusions to other habitats" and species, he says.

研究鳥類行為的英國Oxford University的動物學家John Quinn說,這個研究"看來是有分量的,結果是可信的".但他同時積極回應Whittingham對這個研究的局限性的說法.他指出,除了鳥類天然數量分布外,未來的研究應該納入更多的考慮因素.例如,風車可能會影響更年輕的鳥兒,因為牠們不習慣風車的存在,可能會因此而改變牠們未來筑巢地點的選擇. "同樣,當你把結論推廣到其他鳥兒棲息地和品種的時候,你總是希望保持謹慎的."(?) (囧)John Quinn說.

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