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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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Invasion, community functional structure and ecosystem processes

Invasion, community functional structure and ecosystem processes

Many studies report a decrease of native species richness in communities after plant invasion by exotic taxa, but the implications of species losses on community functional structure and ecosystem processes have been less explored. The questions addressed are: (1) what are the impacts of invasive plant taxa on the functional structure of the recipient community; and (2) are there links between such functional structure and ecosystem properties representing key ecosystem processes? The study, carried out in coastal habitats of the Spanish Balearic Island, revealed that Carpobrotus invasion led to a functional homogenization within communities, which probably reduces their resilience. The functional structure of the community was more responsive to invasion than the ecosystem properties. The weak relationship between functional indices and ecosystem properties suggests that they may respond to invasion at different rates. informacion[at] Castro-Díez et al (2016) Linking the impacts of plant invasion on community functional structure and ecosystem properties. J Veg Sci DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12429