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Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones

The most common ecological response to climate change is the shifts in species distribution ranges. Nevertheless, landscape fragmentation compromises the ability of limited dispersal species to move following these climate changes. Building connected environments that enable species to track climate changes is an ultimate goal for biodiversity conservation. An experiment was conducted to determine if electric power transmission lines could be transformed in a continental network of biodiversity reserves for small animals. The study analysed if the management of the habitat located inside the base of the transmission electric towers (providing refuge and planting seedlings of native shrub) allowed to increase local richness of target species (i.e., small mammals and some invertebrates' groups). The results confirmed that by modifying the base of the electric transmission towers density and diversity of several species of invertebrates and small mammals increased as well as number of birds and bird species, increasing local biodiversity. The study suggests that modifying the base of the electric towers would potentially facilitate the connection of fragmented populations. This idea would be easily applicable in any transmission line network anywhere around the world, making it possible for the first time to build up continental scale networks of connectivity. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Ferrer et al (2020) Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones? Diversity 12(11): 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12110439

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Ducks as vectors of seed dispersal for a broad spectrum of plants

Ducks as vectors of seed dispersal for a broad spectrum of plants

Dabbling ducks have long been recognized as important vectors of dispersal for strictly aquatic plants. In terrestrial ecosystems they are widely assumed to be irrelevant. In this study we identified the plant species dispersed by seven duck species in Europe based on a comprehensive review of gut contents. 445 plant species from 189 genera and 57 families were identified. These plant species represent a wide range of wetland and terrestrial habitats, including almost the full range of site fertility, moisture and light conditions recorded for the European flora. They represent a wide range of dispersal syndromes, and most of these plants (62%) have not previously been considered as animal-dispersed in plant databases. Wetland plants make up only 40% of the dispersed species. Ducks feed opportunistically on a wide cross-section of plant species available across the landscapes they inhabit. Internal seed dispersal by dabbling ducks appears to be a major dispersal pathway for a far broader spectrum of plant species than previously considered. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Soons et al (2016) Seed dispersal by dabbling ducks: an overlooked dispersal pathway for a broad spectrum of plant species. J Ecol doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12531


http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2745.12531/full