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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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Liberalization of the Common Agricultural Policy could affect Cinereous vulture

Liberalization of the Common Agricultural Policy could affect Cinereous vulture

Farmland abandonment or "ecological rewilding" shapes species distribution and ecological process ultimately affecting the biodiversity and functionality of ecosystems. Land abandonment predictions based on alternative future socioeconomic scenarios allow foretell the future of biota in Europe. Here, how these forecasts may affect large?scale distribution of the Cinereous vulture, an apex scavenger closely linked to Mediterranean agro?grazing systems, is investigated . Firstly, nest?site and foraging habitat selection is modelled in relation to variables quantifying physiography, trophic resources and human disturbance. Secondly, to what extent land abandonment may affect the life traits of the species is evaluated, and finally how potential future distribution of the species would vary according to asymmetric socioeconomic land?abandonment predictions for year 2040 is determined. Cinereous vultures selected breeding areas with steep slopes and low human presence whereas foraging areas are characterized by high abundance of European rabbits and wild ungulates. Liberalization of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) could potentially transform positively 66% of the current nesting habitat, favouring the recovery of mature forest. Contrarily, land abandonment would negatively affect the 63% of the current foraging habitat reducing the availability of preferred food resources (wild European rabbit). On the other hand, the maintenance of the CAP would determine lower frequencies (24%–22%) of nesting and foraging habitat change. Land abandonment may result into opposite effects on the focal species because of the increase in nesting habitats and wild ungulates populations and, on the other hand, lower availability of open areas with poorer densities of European rabbits. Land?abandonment models' scenarios are still coarse?grained; the apparition of new human uses in natural areas may take place at small?sized and medium?sized scales, ultimately adding complexity to the prediction on the future of biota and ecosystems. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es García-Barón et al (2018) How to fit the distribution of apex scavengers into land-abandonment scenarios? The Cinereous vulture in the Mediterranean biome. Divers Distrib https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12743


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ddi.12743