Rothamsted Research

where knowledge grows

bellj

James Bell

Role(s):
Head of Rothamsted Insect Survey
Agro Ecology
Harpenden
Summary:

I am interested in macroecological patterns and processes. I work with long term data, particularly the Rothamsted Insect Survey suction trap, light trap and vertical looking radar data where I use generalized additive models and mixed models to answer questions like "why do aphid populations suddenly outbreak?", "what regulates populations at landscape scales?", "what traits are important in predicting abundance-occupancy patterns" and, "what spatial scale is important in understanding population growth and synchrony". I also work collaboratively on climate change to understand how fast populations are changing in terms of their phenology. In this topic I have an emerging interest in the consequences for predator-prey relationships.

Spatal Scaling

 

Milne, A.E., Bell, J.R., Hutchison, W.D., Van Den Bosch, F., Mitchell, P.D., Crowder, D., Parnell, S. & Whitmore, A.P. (2015) The effect of farmer decisions on pest control with Bt crops: a billion dollar ecology game. PLOS Computational Biology (in press)

Sheppard, L.W., Bell, J.R., Harrington, R. & Reuman, D.C. (2015) Changes in large-scale climate cause changes in the spatial synchrony of aphid pests. Nature Climate Change (in press)

Pérez-Rodrigues, J., Shortall, C.R. & Bell, J.R. (2015) Large scale migration synchrony between parasitoids and their hosts. Ecological Entomology 40: 654–659.

Bell, J.R., Burkness, E.C., Milne, A.E., Onstad, D.W., Abrahamson, M., Hamilton, K.L. & Hutchison, W.D. (2012) Putting the brakes on a cycle: bottom-up effects damp cycle amplitude. Ecology Letters 15: 310–318. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01739.x

Bell, J.R., King, R.A., Bohan, D.A. & Symondson, W.O.C. (2010) Spatial co-occurrence networks predict the feeding histories of polyphagous arthropod predators at field scales. Ecography 33: 64-72.

 

Traits

Feber, R.E., Johnson, P.J., Bell, J.R., Chamberlain, D.E., Firbank, L.G., Fuller, R.J., Manley, W., Mathews, F., Norton, L.R., Townsend, M., Macdonald, D.W. (2015) Organic farming: biodiversity impacts can depend on dispersal characteristics and landscape context. PLoS ONE 10: e0135921. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135921

Bell, J.R., Taylor, M.S., Shortall, C.R., Welham, S.J. Harrington, R. (2012) The trait ecology and host plants of aphids and their distribution and abundance over the United Kingdom. Global Ecology & Biogeography 21: 405–415 doi: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2011.00685.x

Bell, J.R., Mead, A., Skirvin, D.J., Sunderland K.D., Fenlon, J. & Symondson, W.O.C. (2008) Predator functional groups vs. classical taxonomy: does implicit ecological information improve model prediction? Bulletin of Entomological Research 98: 587-597.

Regulation

Pérez-Rodrigues, J., Shortall, C.R. & Bell, J.R. (2015) Large scale migration synchrony between parasitoids and their hosts. Ecological Entomology 40: 654–659.

Bell, J.R., Traugott, M., Sunderland K.D., Skirvin, D.J., Mead, A., Kravar-Garde, L., Reynolds, K., Fenlon, J. & Symondson, W.O.C. (2008) Beneficial links for the control of aphids: the effects of compost applications on predators and prey. Journal of Applied Ecology 45: 1266-1273.

Traugott M., Bell J.R., Broad G., Powell W., van Veen F.J.F., Vollhart, I. & Symondson W.O.C. (2008) Endoparasitism in cereal aphids: molecular analysis of a whole parasitoid community. Molecular Ecology 17: 3928–3938.

Climate Change

Bell, J.R., Alderson, L., Izera, D., Kruger, T., Parker, S., Pickup, J., Shortall, C.R., Taylor, M.S., Verrier, P.& Harrington, R.(2015) Long-term phenological trends, species accumulation rates and climate: five decades of change in migrating aphids. Journal of Animal Ecology 84: 21–34

Thackeray, S. J., Sparks, T. H., Frederiksen, M., Burthe, S., Bacon, P. J., Bell, J. R., Botham, M. S., Brereton, T. M., Bright, P. W., Carvalho, L., Clutton-Brock, T., Dawson, A., Edwards, M., Elliott, J. M., Harrington, R., Johns, D., Jones, I. D., Jones, J. T., Leech, D. I., Roy, D. B., Scott, W. A., Smith, M., Smithers, R. J., Winfield, I. J. & Wanless, S. (2010) Trophic level asynchrony in rates of phenological change for marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments. Global Change Biology 16: 3304-3313.

Other interests

Recently, I published a book with Phil Wheater (MMU) and Penny Cook (Liverpool John Moores), which highlights my interest in ecological methods and statistics:

Wheater, C.P., Bell, J.R. & Cook, P.A. (2011) Practical field ecology: A project guide. Wiley-Blackwell, London. 392 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0470694282.

Phone:
+44 (0) 1582 763 133 ext: +44 1582 938313
Location:
Rothamsted Research, West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ
Past Projects
Principal Investigator
  • Synchrony in metapopulations at multiple time scales: theory, experiments and field data
Project Leader
  • Detection and monitoring of psyllid vectors 'Zebra chip'
Member
  • Aphid ecology and population dynamics
  • Population and community ecology: conservation and dynamics
  • Aphid Advisory Alerts
  • Establishing BICCO-Net: The Biodiversity Impacts of Climate Change Observation Network
  • Quantifying links between human influences on climate, shifting seasons and widespread ecosystem consequences
  • BICCO-Net: Biological Impacts of Climate Change Observation Network: Phase II

Submitted/in press 2016

Bell, J.R., Pierre, J.-S. & Dedryver, C.-A. (2017) Aphid Population Dynamics: From Fields to Landscapes. van Emden, H.F. and Harrington, R. (Eds). Aphids as Crop Pests. CAB International (in press)

 

Franks, S.E., Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Atkinson, S., Bell, J.R., Botham, M.S., Harrington, R. & Leech, D.I. (2016) Timing is everything: The sensitivity of 21 breeding birds species to changing seasonal timing is linked to population change over three decades. (submitted)

 

Papers Published (Reverse chronological order 2016 -) 

Thackeray, S. J., Henrys, P. A., Hemming, D., Bell, J. R., Botham, M. S., Burthe, S., Helaouet, P., Johns, D. G., Jones, I. D., Leech, D. I., Mackay, E. B., Massimino, D., Atkinson, S., Bacon, P. J., Brereton, T. M., Carvalho, L., Clutton-Brock, T. H., Duck, C., Edwards, M., Elliott, J. M., Hall, S. J. G., Harrington, R., Pearce-Higgins, J W., Høye, T. T., Kruuk, L. E. B., Pemberton, J. M., Sparks, T. H., Thompson, P. M., White, I., Winfield, I. J. & Wanless, S. (2016) Phenological sensitivity to climate across taxa and trophic levels. Nature 535, 241–245

 

Martay, B., Brewer, M., Elston, D.,  Bell, J.R., Harrington, R., Brereton, T., Barlow, K., Botham, M., & Pearce Higgins, J. (2016) Impacts of climate change on national biodiversity population trends. Ecography doi:10.1111/ecog.02411

 

Moretti, M., Dias, A. T.C., de Bello, F., Altermatt, F., Chown, S. L., Azcárate, F. M., Bell, J.R., Fournier, B., Hedde, M., Hortal, J., Ibanez, S., Öckinger, E., Sousa, J. P., Ellers, J. & Berg, M. P. (2016) Handbook of protocols for standardized measurement of terrestrial invertebrate functional traits. Functional Ecology doi:10.1111/1365-2435.12776

 

 

Storkey, J., Macdonald, A.J., Bell, J.R, Clark, I.M., Gregory, A.S., Hawkins, N.J., Hirsch, P.R., Todman, L.C. & Whitmore, A.P. (2016)  The unique contribution of Rothamsted to ecological research at large temporal scales. Advances in Ecological Research DOI: 10.1016/bs.aecr.2016.08.002

 

 

Jones, H.B.C., Lim, K.S., Bell J.R., Hill, J.K & Chapman, J.W. (2015) Quantifying interspecific variation in dispersal ability of noctuid moths using an advanced tethered flight technique. Ecology and Evolution 6, 181-190.

 

 

Milne, A.E., Bell, J.R., Hutchison, W.D., Van Den Bosch, F., Mitchell, P.D., Crowder, D., Parnell, S. & Whitmore, A.P. (2015) The effect of farmer decisions on pest control with Bt crops: a billion dollar ecology game. PLOS Computational Biology 11, e1004483.

 

 

Lawrence Sheppard, James Bell, Richard Harrington, and Daniel Reuman (2015) Changes in large-scale climate cause changes in the spatial synchrony of aphid pests. Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate2881 

 

 

Feber, R.E., Johnson, P.J., Bell, J.R., Chamberlain, D.E., Firbank, L.G., Fuller, R.J., Manley, W., Mathewsm F., Norton, L.R., Townsend, M., Macdonald, D.W. (2015) Organic farming: biodiversity impacts can depend on dispersal characteristics and landscape context. PLoS ONE 10: e0135921. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135921

 

 

Pérez-Rodrigues, J., Shortall, C.R. & Bell, J.R. (2015) Large scale migration synchrony between parasitoids and their hosts.  Ecological Entomology 40: 654-659. 

 

 

Bell, J.R., Alderson, L., Izera, D., Kruger, T., Parker, S., Pickup, J., Shortall, C.R., Taylor, M.S., Verrier, P.& Harrington, R.(2015) Long-term phenological trends, species accumulation rates and climate: five decades of change in migrating aphids. Journal of Animal Ecology 84: 21–34.

 

 

 

Bell, J. R., Harrington, R., Taylor, M.S.  & Verrier, P. (2013) Population metrics for migrating aphids. NJF Report 9(7): 39-40.

 

 

 

Bell JR, Aralimarad, P., Lim, Ka-Sing & Chapman J.W. (2013) Predicting insect migration density and speed in the daytime convective boundary layer. PLOS One 8: e54202 http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0054202

 

 

Davey, J.S., Vaughan, I.P., King, R.A., Bell, J.R., Bohan, D.A., Bruford, M.W., Holland, J.M. & Symondson, W.O.C. (2013) Intraguild predation in winter wheat: prey choice by epigeal carabids consuming spiders. Journal of Applied Ecology doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12008

 

 

Bell, J.R., Burkness, E.C., Milne, A.E., Onstad, D.W., Abrahamson, M., Hamilton, K.L. & Hutchison, W.D. (2012) Putting the brakes on a cycle: bottom-up effects damp cycle amplitude. Ecology Letters 15: 310–318. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01739.x

 

 

 

Bell, J. R., Taylor, M.S., Shortall, C.R., Welham, S.J. & Harrington, R. (2012) The trait ecology and host plants of aphids and their distribution and abundance over the United Kingdom. Global Ecology & Biogeography 21: 405–415 doi: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2011.00685.x

 

 

Chapman JW, Bell JR, Burgin LE, Reynolds DR, Pettersson LB, Hill JK, Bonsall MB & Thomas JA (2012) Seasonal migration to high latitudes results in major reproductive benefits in an insect. PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1207255109

 

 

O’Neill, B. F., Bond, K., Tyner, A., Sheppard, R., Bryant, T., Chapman, J., Bell, J.R &  Donnelly, A. (2012) Climatic change is advancing the phenology of moth species in Ireland. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 143: 74–88. doi: 10.1111/j.1570-7458.2012.01234.x

 

 

Traugott M., Bell J.R., Lorna, R., Sint, D. & Symondson W.O.C. (2012) Generalist predators disrupt parasitoid aphid control by direct and coincidental intraguild predation.  Bulletin of Entomological Research 102: 239–247. doi:10.1017/S0007485311000551

 

 

Wheater, C.P., Bell, J.R. & Cook, P.A. (2011) Practical field ecology: A project guide. Wiley-Blackwell, London. 392 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0470694282.

 

 

Ozanne, C.M.P., Bell, J.R. & Weaver, D.G. (2011) Collecting arthropods and arthropod remains for primate studies. In: J.M. Setchell & D.J. Curtis (eds) Field and Laboratory Methods in Primatology, 2nd Edition. CUP. Pp.271-286

 

 

King, R.A., Davey, J.S., Bell, J.R., Read, D.S, Bohan, D.A. & Symondson, W.O.C. (2011) Suction sampling as a significant source of error in molecular detection of predation studies. Bulletin of Entomological Research doi:10.1017/S0007485311000575

 

 

King, A., Moreno-Ripoll, R., Agusti, N. Shayler, S., Bell, J.R; Bohan, D., Symondson, W. (2010) Multiplex reactions for the molecular detection of predation on pest and non-pest invertebrates in agroecosystems. Molecular Ecology Resources 11: 370–373 doi: 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2010.02913

 

 

King, R.A., Vaughan, I., Bell, J.R., Bohan, D.A. & Symondson, W.O.C. (2010) Prey choice by carabid beetles feeding on an earthworm community analysed using species- and lineage-specific PCR primers. Molecular Ecology 19: 1721–1732

 

 

Thackeray, S. J., Sparks, T. H., Frederiksen, M., Burthe, S., Bacon, P. J., Bell, J. R., Botham, M. S., Brereton, T. M., Bright, P. W., Carvalho, L., Clutton-Brock, T., Dawson, A., Edwards, M., Elliott, J. M., Harrington, R., Johns, D., Jones, I. D., Jones, J. T., Leech, D. I., Roy, D. B., Scott, W. A., Smith, M., Smithers, R. J., Winfield, I. J. & Wanless, S. (2010) Trophic level asynchrony in rates of phenological change for marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments. Global Change Biology 16: 3304-3313.

 

 

Bell, J.R., King, R.A., Bohan, D.A. & Symondson, W.O.C. (2010) Spatial co-occurrence networks predict the feeding histories of polyphagous arthropod predators at field scales. Ecography 33: 64-72.

 

 

Bell, J.R., Traugott, M., Sunderland K.D., Skirvin, D.J., Mead, A., Kravar-Garde, L., Reynolds, K., Fenlon, J. & Symondson, W.O.C. (2008) Beneficial links for the control of aphids: the effects of compost applications on predators and prey. Journal of Applied Ecology 45: 1266-1273.

 

 

Bell, J.R., Mead, A., Skirvin, D.J., Sunderland K.D., Fenlon, J. & Symondson, W.O.C. (2008) Predator functional groups vs. classical taxonomy: does implicit ecological information improve model prediction? Bulletin of Entomological Research 98: 587-597.

 

 

Traugott M., Bell J.R., Broad G., Powell W., van Veen F.J.F., Vollhart, I. & Symondson W.O.C. (2008) Endoparasitism in cereal aphids: molecular analysis of a whole parasitoid community. Molecular Ecology 17: 3928–3938.

 

 

Smith, V., Bohan, D.A.,  Clark,, S.J., Haughton, A.J., Bell J.R. & Heard, M.H. (2008) Weed  and invertebrate community compositions in arable farmland. Arthropod-Plant Interactions  2: 21-30.

 

 

Reynolds, A.M., Bohan, D.A., & Bell, J.R. (2007) Ballooning dispersal in arthropod taxa: conditions at take-off. Biology Letters 3: 237-240.

 

 

Reynolds, A.M., Bohan, D.A., & Bell, J.R. (2006) Ballooning dispersal in arthropod taxa with convergent behaviours: dynamic properties of ballooning silk in turbulent flows. Biology Letters 2: 371-373.

 

 

Bell, J.R., Bohan, D.A., E.M. Shaw & Weyman, G.S. (2005) Ballooning dispersal using silk: world fauna, phylogenies, genetics and models. Bulletin of Entomological Research 46: 69-114.

 

 

Bell, J.R., Bohan, D.A., Le Fevre, R.. & Weyman, G.S. (2005) Can simple experimental electronics simulate the dispersal phase of spider ballooners? Journal of Arachnology 33: 523-532.

 

 

Bell, J.R. (2005) The emergence of manipulative experiments in ecological spider research:1684-1973. Journal of Arachnology 33: 826-849.

 

 

Sheppard, S.K., Bell, J.R., Sunderland, K.D., Fenlon, J., Skirvin, D., Symondson, W.O.C. (2005) Detection of secondary predation by PCR analyses of the gut contents of invertebrate generalist predators. Molecular Ecology 14: 4461-4468.

 

 

Bell, J.R., Shaw, E.M. & Wheater, C.P. (2004) Does stochasticity in emergent pioneer communities reduce the value of indicator species analysis? European Arachnology 2002, 143-150.

 

 

Ozanne, C.M.P. & Bell, J.R. (2003) Collecting arthropods and arthropod remains for primate studies. In: J.M. Setchell & D.J. Curtis (eds). Field and Laboratory Methods in Primatology, 1st Edition. CUP. Pp.- 214-227.

 

 

Bell, J.R., Haughton, A.J., Boatman, N. Wilcox, A. (2002) Do incremental increases of the herbicide glyphosate have indirect consequences for spider communities? Journal of Arachnology 30, 288-297.

 

 

Bell, J.R., Johnson, P.J., Hambler, C., Haughton, A.J., Smith, H., Feber, R.E., Tattersall, F.H., Hart, B.H., Manly, W. & Macdonald, D.W. (2002) Manipulating the abundance of Lepthyphantes tenuis (Araneae: Linyphiidae) by field margin management. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 93, 293-304.

 

 

Bell, J.R., Wheater, C.P., Henderson, R. & Cullen, W.R. (2002) Testing the efficiency of suction samplers (G-vacs) on spiders. The effects of increasing nozzle size and suction time. European Arachnology 2000, 285-290.

 

 

Bell, J.R., Wheater, C.P. & Cullen, W.R. (2001) The conservation of spider communities and the implications for grassland and heathland management: a review. Journal of Zoology 255, 377-387.

 

 

Haughton, A.J., Bell, J.R., Wilcox, A. & Boatman, N. (2001) the effect of the herbicide glyphosate on non-target animals. I. Direct effects on the spider Lepthyphantes tenuis (Araneae, Linyphiidae). Pest Management Science 57, 1033-1036.

 

 

Haughton, A.J., Bell, J.R., Boatman, N. Wilcox, A. (2001) The effect of the herbicide glyphosate on non-target animals. II. Indirect effects on the spider Lepthyphantes tenuis (Araneae, Linyphiidae). Pest Management Science 57, 1037-1042.

 

 

Wheater, C.P., Cullen, W.R. & Bell, J.R. (2000) Spider communities as tools in monitoring reclaimed limestone quarry landforms. Landscape Ecology 15, 401-406.

 

 

Haughton, A.J., Bell, J.R., Gates, S., Johnson, P.J., Macdonald, D.W., Tattersall, F.H. & Hart, B.H. (1999) Methods of increasing invertebrate abundance within field margins. Aspects of Applied Biology 54, 163-170.

 

 

Bell, J.R., Gates, S., Haughton, A.J., Macdonald, D.W. Smith, H., Wheater, C.P. & Cullen, W.R. (1999) Pseudoscorpions in field margins: effects of margin age, management and boundary habitats. Journal of Arachnology 27, 236-240.

 

 

Haughton, A.J., Bell, J.R., Boatman, N.D. & Wilcox, A. (1999) The effects of different rates of the herbicide glyphosate on spiders in arable field margins. Journal of Arachnology 27, 249-254.

 

 

Feber, R.E., Bell, J.R., Johnson, P.J. Firbank, L.G. & Macdonald, D.W. (1998) The effects of organic farming on surface-active spider (Araneae) assemblages in wheat in southern England, UK. Journal of Arachnology 26, 190-202.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Qualifications

Measures of esteem

2016

  • Climate Change Impacts and Insect Population Dynamics, International Congress of Entomology: Session chair and organiser
  • Lead PhD supervisor: Investigating the mechanisms behind moth declines: plants, landscape, pollution and climate Envision DTP PhD lead supervisor for Dan Blumgart
  • Co-Supervisor of PhD with Bill Symondson (Cardiff) as lead: Nutrient-specific foraging and the role of spiders as aphid predators. SW DTP for Jordan Cuff (student)

2015

  • Head of the Rothamsted Insect Survey

2014

  • Editorial Board of the Journal Titled 'Food Webs': The main journal website can be found at http://www.journals.elsevier.com/food-webs/ The submission site for Food Webs is at http://ees.elsevier.com/fooweb/
  • Session Organiser 'Aphids and their Natural Enemies' ECE, York, August 2014: Co-chair with Michael Traugott,University of Innsbruck Aphids and their Natural Enemies, European Congress of Entomology, York, 3-8th of August.
  • Associate Editor of Functional Ecology: ISI Journal Citation Reports® Ranking: 2013: 19/140 (Ecology) Impact Factor: 4.86 http://www.functionalecology.org/
  • Lead PhD supervisor: GS14-07: Modelling the temporal and spatial ecology of the oilseed rape pest Meligethes aeneus; implications for integrated pest management strategies. Reading Lawes BBSRC DTP with Chris Shortall (student)
  • BOU avian-food-webs. Invited speaker: Birds in the entangled bank: advances in food webs theory and practice http://www.bou.org.uk/conference/avian-food-webs/

2012

  • Invited contributor to Functional Traits and Ecosystem Services workshop: SAPES project (http://www.lu.se/o.o.i.s/23810) Lund, Sweden.

2009

  • Joint convenor of the Royal Entomological Society's Special Interest Group for "Insect Behaviour".

2008

  • External examiner: Ph.D. thesis: Chris Woolley (2008) Estimating population change and dispersal activity of spiders in an agricultural landscape.

2007

  • Subject Editor for the Journal of Pest Science: http://www.springer.com/life+sci/agriculture/journal/10340

2004

  • External examiner: Ph.D. thesis: Dries Bonte (2004) Distribution of spiders in coastal grey dunes - Spatial patterns and evolutionary-ecological importance of dispersal.

2002

  • External examiner: Ph.D. thesis: Shirley Gurdebeke (2002) Interdemic variation in genetic structure and life history traits of the forest-living spider Coelotes terrestris (WIDER 1934).