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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]ebd.csic.es: 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


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/fwb.13618
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Waddling on the dark side: ambient light affects attendance behavior of little penguins

Waddling on the dark side: ambient light affects attendance behavior of little penguins

The little penguin is the smallest and the only penguin species whose activity on land is strictly nocturnal. Thirteen years of attendance data were used to study the effects of sun, moon, and artificial light on the attendance pattern at Phillip Island, Australia. Automated monitoring systems recorded individually marked penguins every time they arrived (after sunset) at or departed (before sunrise) from 2 colonies under different lighting conditions: natural night skylight and artificial lights used to enhance penguin viewing for ecotourism around sunset. Sunlight had a strong effect on attendance as penguins arrived on average around 81 min after sunset and departed around 92 min before sunrise. The effect of moonlight was also strong, its effect was stronger on departure than arrival times. Moonlight could be overridden by artificial light at the artificially lit colony, but the similar attendance patterns between colonies suggest that artificial light did not mask the moonlight effect. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es Rodriguez et al (2016) Waddling on the dark side. Ambient light affects attendance behavior of little penguins. J Biol Rhythms doi: 10.1177/0748730415626010


http://jbr.sagepub.com/content/31/2/194