News News

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
Average (0 Votes)

Latest News Latest News

Back

New "Silk Road" brings challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation

New "Silk Road" brings challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation

China is establishing an infrastructure and service network to connect the country, by land and sea, to different parts of Asia, Africa and Europe. This Chinese project would then represent not only an investment to foster international trade but also an opportunity for sustainable development leadership. According to Chinese government, this new "Silk Road" counts on the participation of least 65 countries, involve about two-thirds of the world's population and boost one-third of the global economy. This "Belt and Road" initiative (BRI) promises to greatly influence the future of global trade and promote the economic development around the world. However, it may also promote permanent environmental degradation. The implementation of BRI implies massive rail and road infrastructure expansion, new ports construction in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the creation of oil and gas pipelines to Russia, Kazakhstan and Myanmar. BRI's economic development corridors coincide with high environmental value areas and can therefore have significant impacts on biodiversity. A recent report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) shows that these corridors overlap with 1739 Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and with the range of 265 threatened species, including 39 critically endangered. Abrupt changes in ecosystem quality and functionality due to pollution, the spread of invasive species, restrictions of animal movement, habitat loss and increased wildlife mortality, are at stake. In addition, raw materials and fossil fuels use, and increased oil and gas reserves exploitation constitute a scenario of an increasing dependency on fossil-fuel and high greenhouse gas emissions. All BRI-related projects should undergo Strategic Environmental and Social Assessments which provide, at an early stage of decision-making, holistic information on the costs and benefits of development plans, including those reflecting the impacts on biodiversity and human populations. The Belt and Road Initiative could be an opportunity for China to take a leading role in moving global development towards sustainability by requiring its overseas partners at least the same environmental quality China aspires for within its territory. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Ascensão et al (2018): Environmental challenges for the Belt and Road Initiative. Nature Sustainability Doi: 10.1038/s41893-018-0059-3


https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-018-0059-3