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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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Water boatman survival and fecundity are related to ectoparasitism and salinity stress

Water boatman survival and fecundity are related to ectoparasitism and salinity stress

Salinity is increasing in aquatic ecosystems in the Mediterranean region due to global change, and this is likely to have an important impact on host-parasite interactions. Here the relationships between infection by ectoparasitic water mites and salinity variation, on survival and fecundity of water boatmen Corixidae from Doñana National Park was studied in the laboratory. Larvae of Sigara lateralis parasitised by larval mites (Hydrachna skorikowi) had lower survivorship, and failed to moult to the adult stage. In adult corixids (S. lateralis and Corixa affinis) fitness was reduced at high salinities and in individuals infected by H. skorikowi, both in terms of survival and fecundity. Evidence was also found for parasitism-salinity interactions. Results suggest that ongoing increases in salinity in Mediterranean ponds due to climate change and water abstraction for agriculture or urban use have a strong impact on water bugs, and that their interactions with ectoparasites may modify salinity effects. informacion[at] Céspedes et al (2019) Water boatman survival and fecundity are related to ectoparasitism and salinity stress. PLos ONE. Doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0209828