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Long-term datasets are necessary to examine human impacts on ecosystems . However, standardized scientific inquiry generally only dates back 30–40 years. Therefore, alternative approaches are necessary to obtain long-term ecological data. For example, previous studies have used newspaper reports to derive fish catch rates , historical photographs to study phenology  and fish size distribution , as well as fish bone data from archaeological excavations to derive growth parameters . Photographs have also been used to provide useful information about marine animal populations [6,7]. Inspired by these approaches, we collected and analysed amateur photographs of the major seabird colony in the Baltic Sea. Based on these photographs, we reconstructed a uniquely long (98 years) time series of the population trend of common guillemots (Uria aalge). We found that the population has increased from low numbers in the early 20th century, to a historically high level today. Changing population trends appear linked to variable human influence on this marine ecosystem.
General news | 2017-12-12
See video from eminar with Professor Rashid Sumaila, one of the world’s most innovative researchers on the future of the oceans
Research news | 2017-11-30
The PECS-II conference showcased place-based research and how it can help us work towards global sustainability in the Anthropocene
Research news | 2017-11-28
How urban greening and civic ecology projects can improve human well-being and restore crucial ecosystem services
Research news | 2017-11-27
What plantain farmers in Costa Rica can teach us about the inconsistent links between access to ecosystem services and well-being
Research news | 2017-11-23
Centre science director well established among world’s most top-cited and influential scientists
Research news | 2017-11-21
Large-scale changes in Arctic marine food web can be expected within 50 years, some good, but in the long run several critical