News News

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
Average (0 Votes)

Latest News Latest News

Honeybees disrupt the structure and functionality of plant-pollinator networks

The honeybee Apis mellifera is the primary managed species worldwide for both crop pollination and honey production. Owing to beekeeping activity, its high relative abundance potentially affects...

Sexual dichromatism and condition-dependence in the skin of a bat

Bats are assumed not to use vision for communication, despite recent evidence of their capacity for color vision. The possibility that bats use color traits as signals has thus been overlooked....

Replicate radiations in Caribbean frogs

Replicate radiations, the repeated multiplication of species associated with ecological divergence, have attracted much attention and generated as much debate. Due to the few well?studied cases, it...

The six most important threats for petrels and shearwaters

Shearwaters and 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...

Is restocking a useful tool for increasing rabbit densities?

The European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus is endemic to Mediterranean ecosystems in the Iberian Peninsula, where it is a key species. In recent years its populations have declined due to several...