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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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Effects of uropygial gland secretion on the host seeking behaviour of mosquitoes

Effects of uropygial gland secretion on the host seeking behaviour of mosquitoes

Mosquito feeding preferences determine host–vector contact rates and represent a key factor in the transmission of vector-borne pathogens. The semiochemical compounds of which vertebrate odours are composed probably play a role in mosquito host choice. Birds spread secretions from uropygial gland over their feathers to protect their plumage, comprising behaviour that may in turn affect odour profiles. Although uropygial secretions are expected to modify the attractiveness of birds to mosquitoes, contradictory findings have been reported. Mosquito species differ in their feeding preferences, with some species feeding mainly on birds (ornithophilic species) and others on mammals (mammophilic species). Consequently, it is possible that ornithophilic and mammophilic species differ in their response to uropygial gland secretions. Using a dual-choice olfactometer, the present study tests this hypothesis by comparing the behavioural response to uropygial gland secretions from juvenile male and female house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in the ornithophilic Culex pipiens and the mammophilic Aedes (Ochlerotatus) caspius mosquitoes. No differences were found in the response of either mosquito species to the uropygial gland secretions. Therefore, the preference of ornithophilic mosquitoes for avian hosts is apparently not explained by a greater attraction of mosquitoes to the uropygial gland secretion odour when presented in combination with a CO2-enriched airflow and other, probably additional, factors must be at stake. informacion[at] Díez-Fernández et al (2019) House sparrow uropygial gland secretions do not attract ornithophilic nor mammophilic mosquitoes. Med Vet Entomology DOI 10.1111/mve.12401