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Endozoochory of similar plants by storks and gulls

Research into the dispersal of plants lacking a fleshy fruit by avian endozoochory remains limited, particularly regarding the different roles of specific vectors in the same habitat. Plants dispersed by endozoochory were compared between two migratory waterbirds differing in body size: the lesser black-backed gull, and the white stork. Faeces and pellets were collected from roosting flocks on dykes in the Doñana rice fields, and extracted intact seeds. 424 intact seeds from 21 plant taxa were recovered, 11 of which germinated under laboratory conditions. Eight plant species are considered weeds, four of them as alien species, and only two have a fleshy fruit. Toadrush (Juncus bufonius) was the dominant species, accounting for 49% of seeds recovered. Community analyses revealed no differences in the proportions of each plant species dispersed by the two birds, suggesting that waterbird plant dispersal networks are different from frugivore networks. These avian vectors provide maximum dispersal distances several orders of magnitude greater than predicted from their dispersal syndromes. Endozoochory by migratory waterbirds has major implications for plant distributions in a rapidly changing world. informacion[at] Martín-Vélez et al (2020) Endozoochory of the same community of plants lacking fleshy fruits by storks and gulls. J Veg Science DOI 10.1111/jvs.12967
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Reduced avian diversity in artificial wetlands

Reduced avian diversity in artificial wetlands

Wetlands are one of the most threatened habitats, but they continue to be destroyed and degraded all over the world. In recent years, various studies have argued that artificial wetlands can compensate for the loss of natural ones, and facilitate conservation of waterbirds. In this study waterbird communities are compared in a set of natural, restored and artificial wetlands within the Doñana Natural Space, which are well known for their birds. Several measures of diversity were used, including the phylogenetic relatedness and the proportion of species that were threatened at national or international levels. Whatever the measure of diversity, artificial wetlands were consistently less diverse than restored or natural wetlands, with hardly any differences between the latter two. Natural wetlands are essential for biodiversity conservation, but restored wetlands can have similar value and assure the maintenance of key ecological processes. In conclusion, when costs are similar, resources for wetland conservation are better invested in restoration than in creating new wetlands. Caution is urged when assuming that artificial wetlands can compensate for the loss of natural ones. informacion[at] Sebastián-González & Green (2016) Reduction of avian diversity in created versus natural and restored wetlands. Ecography DOI: 10.1111/ecog.01736