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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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Cross-species amplification of microsatellite loci in sub-Antarctic seabirds

Cross-species amplification of microsatellite loci in sub-Antarctic seabirds

Microsatellite loci are ideal for testing hypotheses relating to genetic segregation at fine spatio-temporal scales. They are also conserved among closely related species, making them potentially useful for clarifying interspecific relationships between recently diverged taxa. However, mutations at primer binding sites may lead to increased nonamplification, or disruptions that may result in decreased polymorphism in nontarget species. Furthermore, high mutation rates and constraints on allele size may also with evolutionary time, promote an increase in convergently evolved allele size classes, biasing measures of interspecific genetic differentiation. Here, next-generation sequencing was used to develop microsatellite markers from a shotgun genome sequence of the sub-Antarctic seabird, the thin-billed prion (Pachyptila belcheri), and tested for cross-species amplification in other Pachyptila and related sub-Antarctic species. It was found that heterozygosity decreased and the proportion of nonamplifying loci increased with phylogenetic distance from the target species. Surprisingly, species trees estimated from interspecific FST provided better approximations of mtDNA relationships among the studied species than those estimated using DC, even though FST was more affected by null alleles. A significantly nonlinear second order polynomial relationship between microsatellite and mtDNA distances was observed. Authors propose that the loss of linearity with increasing mtDNA distance stems from an increasing proportion of homoplastic allele size classes that are identical in state, but not identical by descent. Therefore, despite high cross-species amplification success and high polymorphism among the closely related Pachyptila species, we caution against the use of microsatellites in phylogenetic inference among distantly related taxa. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es Moodley et al (2015) Evolutionary factors affecting the cross-species utility of newly developed microsatellite markers in seabirds Mol Ecol Res DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.12372


http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1755-0998.12372/abstract