Monday, March 5, 2012

2388.txt

date: Tue Oct 24 16:14:22 2000
from: Phil Jones <p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: PI Feedback
to: Humphrey.CrickatXYZxyz.org, thsatXYZxyz.ac.uk


Dear Humphrey and Tim,
This seems another very good review. All that seems to be required is
to accept the good points and give a list of the bird species that will
be used. The final sentence of the 3rd paragraph is a bit odd. We are
fully aware of the climate effects on insect populations which may then
impact breeding success.

Cheers
Phil


>Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 11:21:51 +0100
>From: "Terrestrial Terrestrial" <TerrestrialatXYZxyz.nerc.ac.uk>
>To: <Humphrey.CrickatXYZxyz.org>
>Cc: <thsatXYZxyz.ac.uk>, <P.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
>Subject: PI Feedback
>Content-Disposition: inline
>
>Dear Dr Crick
>
>Your application for a Research Grant will be considered at the Terrestrial Sciences Peer Review Committee meeting. Referee comments have now been obtained on the application, and have included the following points to which you have been invited to respond.
>
>These comments are presented to you for clarification and do not represent any pre-judgement of the outcome of you application. They are not necessarily from a single referee, and may be untypical of the general tone of review received.
>
>Should you wish to respond to the points raised by the referees, please do so asap to allow us to include your response in the papers sent to the committee reviewing your grant. We realise that this is a short period of time and would encourage you to submit your response by e-mail or fax where possible. Please make sure that you include your grant number. Where appropriate (and possible) this e-mail has been copied to the other PI's on the grant in case the lead PI is out of contact. However we can only accept one response to these comments (preferably from the lead PI) - not one from each PI contacted.
>
>Should we receive further referee comments we will endeavour to forward these to you for comment before the meeting.
>
>Yours sincerely
>
>Jan Rogers
>
>Referee C
>The proposal anticipates combining two approaches - climate-envelope and comparative-empirical - to elicit the consequences of climatic change (in particular changes in precipitation regime, mean changes in temperature during different seasons, and the significance of extreme weather events) to the breeding performance of birds in the UK. The general aims are timely: we know far too little about the consequences of recent and current climatic change on bird reproductive behaviour, population dynamics and distribution, and there is also a need to be able to predict what changes in breeding might be associated with future climatic change scenarios. The investigators are well aware of the problems of teasing out causes and effects from a diverse set of environmental and ecological factors, which interact both directly and (for example through changes in food and habitat) indirectly. The Principal Investigator and his two co-investigators have already made important published contributions to these issues in their respective fields. They now have the opportunity to take advantage of a globally unique set of long-term data on breeding birds, including data on population size, distribution, clutch size and overall reproductive success. By incorporating analysis of such data with the comprehensive set of climatic data and statistical expertise (Jones) available at UEA's Climatic Research Unit, together with the modelling skills and knowledge of phenology brought by Sparks, the potential for some innovative and scientifically important work is very high indeed. Add to this the proven research and publication records of the protagonists, and this proposal becomes even stronger.
>
>Aims, objectives, hypotheses and methodologies have all been thoroughly thought through and are apposite. The central goal is to test whether conditions associated with global warming and, in turn, phenology lead to changes in breeding performance in birds, e.g. advances in laying date and increases in clutch size. The proposals aim to build on, extend and strengthen a set of existing models. The desirability of looking at these issues at different geographical scales is incorporated, with regional as well as national scenarios being considered. It is also good to note that the significance of extreme weather events (which have tended to increase in the last couple of decades and presumably will continue to do so) will be examined, as well as general trends in phenological trends.
>
>Species will vary in their responses to and vulnerability to climatic changes, and it is good to see that conclusions concerning single-brooded species will be compared to those of multi-brooded birds, and food generalists with food specialists. Tying in breeding success with a mesh of interacting environmental factors that are also directly or indirectly related to climate may prove problematic, though the proposers are aware of this. However, changes in different components of habitat quality, including the nature and availability of food, will almost certainly not shift in the same spatial way or at the same rates over the same time scales as (indices of) bird breeding success, and this could weaken the predictive power of the spatial models.
>
>The programme and plan of research are realistic and achievable, particularly given the strengths of the proposed team and the opportunities provided by the data and other resources. No equivalent research is being undertaken on the scales proposed. This is an excellent proposal which would marry good science with some answers to important environmental questions, advancing our knowledge and understanding of one of the key environmental issues of the new millennium.
>
>While it does not especially weaken the proposal, I would have liked to know what species (or examples of what species) the study would consider at the various levels of study. Investigating 'relationships between a larger suite of climatic variables and various measures of breeding performance for at least 40 species' may be acceptably non-specific, but some idea of the species likely to involved in looking at 'regional trends in the components of breeding performance . . . in relation to regional climates for c.10 species' would have been helpful. Similarly, 'models will be built for 5-10 species with sufficient sample sizes', and 'how relationships between climate change and breeding performance . . . might impact on the population dynamics of at least two species' (including Wrens mentioned later in the paragraph?).
>
>The proposed schedule is tight but feasible given that in many respects the participants can hit the ground running.
>
>If predictions are to be made on the basis of different combinations of changes in different climatic components at two geographical scales (national and regional), would it be helpful to use some kind of GIS (Geographic Information System)? By manipulating different cells (pixels) on climatic maps (or 'overlays') it should be possible to represent different predicted changes in parameters of breeding success. Not only could different scenarios be based on different climatic measurements (e.g. what would be the effects on bird breeding success of an overall increase in average temperature in, say, March, of 1�, 2� or 3�) but also on different intensities along gradients of change (e.g. latitudinally, or NW to SE).
>
>
>
>
>
>Terrestrial Sciences Research Grant Administration Team
>Awards & Training Section
>NERC
>Polaris House
>Swindon
>SN2 1EU
>
>Tel: 01793 411574 / 411725
>Fax: 01793 411655
>
>http://www.nerc.ac.uk/awards
>

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