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Effectiveness of a Newly Created Oxbow Lake to Mitigate Habitat Loss and Increase Biodiversity in a Regulated Floodplain

AuthorsGallardo, Belinda ; Cabezas, Álvaro ; González, Eduardo ; Comín, Francisco A.
KeywordsConstructed wetland
Ebro river
Ecological restoration
Taxonomic diversity
Trait diversity
Issue Date2011
CitationRestoration Ecology: (2011)
AbstractIn 2005, an oxbow lake was constructed in a degraded floodplain area of the Ebro River (NE Spain) to mitigate habitat loss. In this study, we address the effectiveness of this restoration project through the analysis of the macroinvertebrate community that colonized the newly constructed lake, in comparison with a nearby natural oxbow lake and the adjacent river channel. To that end, water and macroinvertebrate samples were taken every 2 months in 2006. Ground movements during construction, wind-driven bottom resuspension, shore scouring, and lack of vegetation resulted in distinctive water chemistry in the constructed and natural lakes. Regarding biodiversity, only 8 months after the digging of the constructed lake the abundance, richness, Shannon, and trait diversity of macroinvertebrates exceeded that of the natural lake. It is suggested that the constructed lake provided habitat for new mobile species that rapidly dispersed to other wetlands, thus enhancing the biological diversity of the floodplain at a local scale. Furthermore, biodiversity is predicted to continue increasing in the following years, although isolation can lead to early clogging of the system. By showing a dramatic increase in aquatic biodiversity in constructed wetlands, our study suggests that wetland construction can be very effective in mitigating habitat loss and increasing biodiversity in highly degraded floodplain areas. Further monitoring is nevertheless needed to evaluate the sustainability of the newly created habitat in the long term.
Description8 páginas, 4 figuras, 2 tablas. fecha de publicación on line: 16/Feb./2011.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1526-100X.2010.00766.x
Appears in Collections:(IPE) Artículos
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