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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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Noninvasive sampling of saliva for genetic analysis in ecology

Noninvasive sampling of saliva for genetic analysis in ecology

Saliva is a secretion rich in epithelial cells and an excellent source of DNA for genetic analysis. Attempts to identify wild vertebrates from noninvasive samples of saliva have been restricted to searching for food remains recently handled by target species. This approach often requires close tracking of animals, which is unfeasible for most species and may explain why saliva is seldom considered in ecological studies. Authors develop a noninvasive method of collection that combines baits and porous materials able to capture saliva. Its potential in optimal conditions has been reported using confined dogs and collecting saliva early after deposition. Mean DNA concentration in saliva extracts was high (14 ng µl-1), whereas species (85%) and individual identification rates (90%) were as high as, or higher than, those reported for other kinds of noninvasive samples such as hair, urine or faeces. Genotyping errors (2%) and mean genotyping effort (2 replicates) remained at very low levels. The procedure could advantageously allow detection of socially low-ranked individuals underrepresented in faecal or urine samples associated with marking behaviour. Once adapted and refined, this technique could yield high rates of individual identification of wild vertebrates in ecological field studies requiring noninvasive sampling. informacion[at] Lobo et al (2015) A new method for noninvasive genetic sampling of saliva in ecological research. PLoS ONE 10 (10) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139765