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Restored and artificial wetlands do not support the same waterbird functional diversity as natural wetlands

The restoration of degraded areas and the creation of artificial ecosystems have partially compensated for the continuing loss of natural wetlands. However, the success of these wetlands in terms of the capacity of supporting biodiversity and ecosystem functions is unclear. Natural, restored, and artificially created wetlands present within the Doñana protected area were compared to evaluate if they are equivalent in terms of waterbird functional trait diversity and composition. Functional diversity measures and functional group species richness describing species diet, body mass, and foraging techniques were modelled in 20 wetlands in wintering and breeding seasons. Artificial wetlands constructed for conservation failed to reach the functional diversity of natural and restored wetlands. Unexpectedly, artificial ponds constructed for fish production performed better, and even exceeded natural wetlands for functional richness during winter. Fish ponds stood out as having a unique functional composition, connected with an increase in richness of opportunistic gulls and a decrease in species sensitive to high salinity. Overall, the functional structure of breeding communities was more affected by wetland type than wintering communities. These findings suggest that compensating the loss of natural wetlands with restored and artificial wetlands results in systems with altered waterbird?supported functions. Protection of natural Mediterranean wetlands is vital to maintain the original diversity and composition of waterbird functional traits. Furthermore, restoration must be prioritised over the creation of artificial wetlands, which, even when intended for conservation, may not provide an adequate replacement. informacion[at] Almeida et al. (2020) Comparing the diversity and composition of waterbird functional traits between natural, restored, and artificial wetlands. Freshwater Biology DOI 10.1111/fwb.13618
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Vertebrate roadkill en Andalusia

Vertebrate roadkill en Andalusia

Although roadkill studies on a large scale are challenging, they can provide valuable information to assess the impact of road traffic on animal populations. Over 22 months, 45 road sections of 10 km within a global biodiversity hotspot in Andalusia, in southern Spain, were surveyed. The region was divided into five ecoregions differing in environmental conditions and landscape characteristics and the relative magnitude, composition and spatiotemporal patterns of vertebrate (birds, mammal, amphibians, and reptiles) mortality were recorded. Roadkill data from monthly surveys of road stretches with different speed limits, traffic volume, road design, and adjacent landscape composition were used. Roadkills varied over time and were not randomly distributed across ecoregions and road types. Overall, the groups most frequently encountered were mammals (54.4 % of total roadkills) and birds (36.2 %). Mortality rates in these two groups were higher on highways than on national or local roads, whereas those of amphibians (4.6 %) and reptiles (4.3 %) did not differ between road types. Except for mammals, the observed variation in vertebrate roadkills across ecoregions reflects the patterns of species richness previously described in the literature. Roadkills were concentrated over relatively short periods and this pattern was repeated over study periods and for all vertebrate classes. These findings provide baseline information about road types, time periods and taxa with a higher probability of roadkills across an extensive region. These data represent an essential step towards the future implementation of broad–scale mitigation measures. informacion[at] Canal et al (2018) Magnitude, composition and spatiotemporal patterns of vertebrate roadkill at regional scales: a study in southern Spain. Anim Biodiv Conserv 41.2: 281–300