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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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The six most important threats for petrels and shearwaters

The six most important threats for petrels and shearwaters

Shearwaters and petrels (hereafter petrels) are highly adapted seabirds that occur across all the world's oceans. Petrels are a threatened seabird group comprising 120 species. They have bet-hedging life histories typified by extended chick rearing periods, low fecundity, high adult survival, strong philopatry, monogamy and long-term mate fidelity and are thus vulnerable to change. Anthropogenic alterations on land and at sea have led to a poor conservation status of many petrels with 49 (41%) threatened species based on IUCN criteria and 61 (51%) suffering population declines. Some species are well-studied, even being used as bioindicators of ocean health, yet for others there are major knowledge gaps regarding their breeding grounds, migratory areas or other key aspects of their biology and ecology. Here, 38 petrel conservation researchers summarize information regarding the most important threats according to the IUCN Red List of threatened species to identify knowledge gaps that must be filled to improve conservation and management of petrels. Research advances on the main threats for petrels are highlighted: invasive species at breeding grounds, bycatch, overfishing, light pollution, climate change, and pollution. An ambitious goal is proposed to reverse at least some of these six main threats, through active efforts such as restoring island habitats (e.g. invasive species removal, control and prevention), improving policies and regulations at global and regional levels, and engaging local communities in conservation efforts. The clear message that emerges from this review is the continued need for research and monitoring to inform and motivate effective conservation at the global level. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Rodríguez et al (2019) Future directions in conservation research on petrels and shearwaters. Front Mar Sci DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00094


https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00094/abstract