The functional role of wild mammals in agricultural ecosystems

Martyn L. Gorman, David Raffaelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. The present mix of mammalian species in the UK reflects the ability of native species to adapt to new habitats and land-uses, semi-domestication, persecution and the introduction of exotics over the last few thousand years.

2. Our wild and domestic mammals provide us with food and recreational benefits, but several species also incur costs through their consumption and spoilage of products and as vectors of livestock disease.

3. Here we explore the difference in roles played by wild mammals in today's agricultural landscape compared with the Mesolithic landscape, c.5000 years BP.

4. This approach has enabled us to explore the disruption that human activities have caused to the ecological functioning of the UK mammal community in terms of the way energy is channelled through this system.

5. We have identified trophic changes in the wild mammal community consequent on the loss of native species, the introduction of wild and domestic alien species, and changes in population sizes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-230
Number of pages11
JournalMammal Review
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • agricultural landscape
  • British agriculture
  • British mammal fauna
  • energy flow

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