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Effects of biotic/abiotic factors on submerged macrophytes and its consequence in waterfowl communities in a Mediterranean floodplain

AutorLaguna, Celia; López-Perea, Jhon J.; Viñuela, Javier ; Florín, Máximo; Feliú, Jordi; Chicote, Álvaro; Cirujano, Santos ; Mateo, Rafael
Fecha de publicación2015
CitaciónV Jornadas Doctorales de la UCLM (2015)
ResumenFloodplains are the most degraded ecosystems over the world because of drainage, aquifer overexploitation, pollution and invasive species. In Mediterranean floodplains these impacts are higher because of the fluctuating characteristics of Mediterranean climate, as occur in Tablas de Daimiel National Park (TDNP), a representative Mediterranean floodplain in Central Spain. After a long drought period, TDNP recovered its hydrological regime, however barely one year later, it lost almost every macrophyte cover, and consequently its herbivorous waterbird population declined. To determine the main drivers of this degradation, ten experimental sets were set up around TDNP in April 2013, consisting of three enclosure plots each addressed for birds (B), fish+birds (F+B) and control. Waterfowl populations were surveyed monthly between June 2010 and April 2014. Stonewort standing crop was harvested in July 2013 and May 2014. Twenty-three physicochemical indicators of water and sediment were measured on May 2013 and July 2013.Herbivorous species (Netta rufina) reached historical records between September 2010 and June 2011, but decreased afterwards. Piscivorous waterbirds (Phalacrocorax carbo) increased their population after 2011. Values of Chara spp. standing crop were significantly higher in fish+bird exclosure plots than in those for birds or controls. Maximum Chara spp. biomass was found in sampling stations with lower values of conductivity and Ca2+ and higher values of dissolved inorganic carbon and organic nitrogen in water and lower values of inorganic and organic phosphorous in sediment. These results evidence that invasive fishes (i.e. common carp Cyprinus carpio), were the main drivers of submerged meadows decline and, thereby, of the changes in the waterbird communities. However, hydrochemical and sediment characteristics were drivers of spatial heterogeneity at larger scale. In light of these results, National Park managers started the control of invasive fish populations as an urgent measure to assure the ecological conservation of this fluctuating Mediterranean wetland.
DescripciónResumen del trabajo presentado a las V Jornadas Doctorales de la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, celebradas en Ciudad Real (España) el 6 de octubre de 2015.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/145784
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