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Wetland creation in agricultural landscapes: Biodiversity benefits on local and regional scales
Halmstad University, School of Business and Engineering (SET), Biological and Environmental Systems (BLESS), Wetland Research Centre.
Department of Ecology, Ecology Building, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
Halmstad University, School of Business and Engineering (SET), Biological and Environmental Systems (BLESS).
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2009 (English)In: Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, E-ISSN 1873-2917, Vol. 142, no 5, p. 964-973Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Wetland creation aiming at a simultaneous increase in nutrient retention and species diversity in agricultural landscapes has recently become applied as a catchment-scale compensation measure for past wetland losses. Here, we evaluate if, and to what extend, dual-purpose wetlands benefit local and regional diversity of agricultural landscapes. We analysed composition and α, β, and γ diversity of aquatic macroinvertebrate assemblages among dual-purpose wetlands in an agricultural region in southwest Sweden in relation to local (water quality, wetland morphology, succession stage, proximity to other aquatic habitats) and landscape parameters (regional connectivity, wetland density). Diversity of mature agricultural ponds was used as a standard to evaluate the value of dual-purpose wetlands. Dual-purpose wetlands sustained α, β, and γ diversity similar to that of natural lentic water bodies in agricultural landscapes in the region and elsewhere. Over 80% of the overall species richness was attributed to β diversity, and each created wetland contributed to overall species accumulation. Ecosystem parameters explained 19% of the compositional variation among assemblages, but were only marginally related to diversity. Wetland density promoted α and γ diversity, while spatial heterogeneity (β) remained equally high, independent of wetland density. Our results indicate that catchment-scale wetland creation for simultaneous retention and diversity purposes benefits the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes, particularly if the density of aquatic habitats is increased by at least 30%.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Barking: Elsevier , 2009. Vol. 142, no 5, p. 964-973
Keywords [en]
Benthic macroinvertebrates, Species richness, Assemblage composition, Ecosystem services, Catchment restoration, Aquatic habitat density
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-2433DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.01.006ISI: 000265338600004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-62049085518Local ID: 2082/2835OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-2433DiVA, id: diva2:239651
Available from: 2009-03-30 Created: 2009-03-30 Last updated: 2018-03-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in created agricultural wetlands
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in created agricultural wetlands
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This doctoral dissertation was produced in a cooperation between Halmstad University (Wetland Research Centre, School of Business and Engineering) and Lund University (Limnology & Marine Biology, Department of Ecology).

Abstract . Wetland creation at large, regional scales is implemented as a measure to abate the biodiversity loss in agricultural landscapes and the eutrophication of watersheds and coastal areas by non-point source nutrient pollution (mainly nitrogen). The consequences of creating many new wetlands for biodiversity conservation and nutrient reten- tion (ecosystem functioning) in agricultural landscapes are still relatively unknown, both on local (per wetland) and regional (per landscape) scales. In Sweden, wetland creation has progressed already since the 1990s, and by now larger numbers of created wetlands are present, mainly in the intensively farmed landscapes of southwestern Sweden. This thesis aimed to investigate the following aspects in these systems: (i) their large-scale effects on biodiversity, (ii) their functional diversity of bacterial denitrifiers, (iii) the abiotic and biotic influences on wetland ecosystem functioning, (iv) the potential for biodiversity-function links, and (v) the potential for functional links and joint functioning.(i) Created wetlands hosted diverse assemblages of macroinvertebrates and plants. They maintained a similar com- position and diversity as natural ponds in agricultural landscapes. The environmental conditions per wetland did hardly affect macroinvertebrate and plant assemblages, and the prerequisites for nutrient retention did neither. In landscapes were wetland creation efforts had increased the total density of small water bodies by more than 30%, macroinver- tebrate diversity of created wetlands was facilitated on both local and regional scales. (ii) Diverse communities of denitrifying bacteria with the capacity for conducting different denitrification steps (functional types) were present in all investigated wetlands. The richness of denitrifying bacteria communities was affected by nitrate concentration and hydraulic loading rate, which may potentially be relevant for the nitrogen retention function of created wetlands. The diversity across different functional types of bacterial denitrifiers increased with nitrate concentration. (iii) Both abiotic and biotic factors influenced ecosystem functions of created wetlands. Variation in nitrogen retention was associated to nitrate load, but even to vegetation parameters. In wetlands with constant nitrate load, planted emergent vegetation facilitated nitrogen retention compared to other vegetation types. In wetlands with variable loads, nitrogen retention was facilitated if nitrate load was high and many different vegetation types were present; nitrogen load could explain the majority of the variation in nitrogen retention compared to vegetation parameters. Phosporus retention of created wetlands was best explained by vegetation parameters. Litter decomposition was inhibited at high nitrate to phosphorus ratios. Methane production increased with age and decreased with plant cover. (iv) Biodiversity may facilitate wetland ecosystem functions, particularly in dynamic wetland ecosystems. Nitrogen retention increased with vegetation type diversity, phosphorus retention capacity with plant richness, and litter decomposition with macroinvertebrate diversity. (v) Created wetlands have the capacity of sustaining several parallel ecosystem services. Some wetland functions were coupled; nitrogen retention increased with fast litter decomposition. On the other hand, methane emission and nitro- gen retention were independent of each other, as were nitrogen and phosphorus retention.In conclusion, created wetlands have the potential to at least partly abate the lost biodiversity and multifunctionality caused by the past extensive destruction of natural wetlands in agricultural landscapes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Lund University, 2009. p. 145
Keywords
constructed ponds, eutrophication abatement, biodiversity conservation, functional diversity, macroinvertebrates, plants, bacterial denitrification, watershed scale, nitrogen removal, phosphorus retention
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-2968 (URN)2082/3371 (Local ID)978-91-7105-295-7 (ISBN)2082/3371 (Archive number)2082/3371 (OAI)
Public defence
(English)
Supervisors
Note

[Paper II] Milenkovski S., Thiere G., Weisner S.E.B., Berglund O. & Lindgren P.-E. Variation of eubacterial and denitrifying bacterial biofilm communities among constructed wetlands. Submitted manuscript. [Paper V] Thiere G. & Weisner S.E.B. Influence of biotic and abiotic parameters on ecosystem functioning of created wetlands. Manuscript.

Available from: 2009-09-17 Created: 2009-09-17 Last updated: 2018-03-23Bibliographically approved

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Thiere, GeraldineSahlén, GöranWeisner, Stefan E.B.

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