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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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The role of immigration in the growth of a population of glossy ibis in Doñana

The role of immigration in the growth of a population of glossy ibis in Doñana

Immigration and local recruitment play a central role in determining the growth rate of breeding populations. Unravelling these processes in newly-established populations is of great importance to increase understanding of how species change their distributions in response to global change. In this study, these processes were analyzed through the monitoring of a glossy ibis population in Doñana from the settlement of the colony in 1996. The impressive growth of this population due to immigration (from 7 couples to over 8,000 in twenty years) has directly fueled the expansion of the species in the Mediterranean area and Western Europe. In terms of metapopulation, the Doñana population has rapidly changed its status from sink to source population, thanks mainly to immigration. The pull factors in Donana must have been very significant considering the high values of local demographic parameters such as reproductive success (average of 2.1 fledglings per pair) and the rate of self-recruitment which was particularly high (>80%)  for first-year individuals. Finally, this study highlights as immigration not only support populations at the limit of its range, but may also indirectly play a key role in the expansion process of a species. informacion[at] Santoro et al (2016) Immigration enhances fast growth of a newly-established source population. Ecology doi:10.1890/14-2462