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Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones

The most common ecological response to climate change is the shifts in species distribution ranges. Nevertheless, landscape fragmentation compromises the ability of limited dispersal species to move following these climate changes. Building connected environments that enable species to track climate changes is an ultimate goal for biodiversity conservation. An experiment was conducted to determine if electric power transmission lines could be transformed in a continental network of biodiversity reserves for small animals. The study analysed if the management of the habitat located inside the base of the transmission electric towers (providing refuge and planting seedlings of native shrub) allowed to increase local richness of target species (i.e., small mammals and some invertebrates' groups). The results confirmed that by modifying the base of the electric transmission towers density and diversity of several species of invertebrates and small mammals increased as well as number of birds and bird species, increasing local biodiversity. The study suggests that modifying the base of the electric towers would potentially facilitate the connection of fragmented populations. This idea would be easily applicable in any transmission line network anywhere around the world, making it possible for the first time to build up continental scale networks of connectivity. informacion[at] Ferrer et al (2020) Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones? Diversity 12(11): 439;

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Competition between honeybees y wild pollinators

Competition between honeybees y wild pollinators

During the past decades, managed honeybee stocks have increased globally. Managed honeybees are particularly used within mass-flowering crops and often spill over to adjacent natural habitats after crop blooming. This study uniquely shows the simultaneous impact that honeybee spillover has on wild plant and animal communities in flower-rich woodlands via changes in plant–pollinator network structure that translate into a direct negative effect on the reproductive success of a dominant wild plant. Honeybee spillover leads to a re-assembly of plant–pollinator interactions through increased competition with other pollinator species. Moreover, honeybee preference for the most abundant plant species reduces its seed set, driven by high honeybee visitation rates that prevent pollen tube growth. This study therefore calls for an adequate understanding of the trade-offs between providing pollination services to crops and the effects that managed pollinators might have on wild plants and pollinators. informacion[at] Magrach et al (2018) Honeybee spillover reshuffles pollinator diets and affects plant reproductive success. Nature Ecol Evol 1(9): 1299–1307 Doi 10.1038/s41559-017-0249-9