Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 14, Issue 7, pp 1627–1639

Breeding waterbirds in relation to artificial pond attributes: implications for the design of irrigation facilities

  • J.A. Sánchez-Zapata
  • J.D. Anadón
  • M. Carrete
  • A. Giménez
  • J. Navarro
  • C. Villacorta
  • F. Botella
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10531-004-0534-1

Cite this article as:
Sánchez-Zapata, J., Anadón, J., Carrete, M. et al. Biodivers Conserv (2005) 14: 1627. doi:10.1007/s10531-004-0534-1

Abstract

The growth of inter-basin water transfers and the development of new irrigation facilities in southeastern Spain are responsible for a variety of ecological impacts. In spite of this, the construction of artificial ponds to keep water for intensive agriculture may also provide new habitats for breeding waterbirds. We counted waterbirds during the breeding season in artificial ponds that had been built up using different materials and measured their abiotic and biotic attributes. We found that ponds were used as breeding and foraging habitat by 22 different waterbird species and breeding numbers of a few of them seemed to be larger in these artificial facilities than in nearby natural and semi-natural wetlands. Abundance and richness of breeding waterbirds was influenced by construction materials. Ponds constructed with low density polyethylene and covered with sand and stones held more species and their numbers were higher than those constructed with other plastic materials. The presence of emergent and submerged vegetation as well as abiotic attributes, such as pond size, accounted for most of the deviance when modelling richness and species abundance.

Keywords

Agriculture Conservation Habitat Waterbirds 

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.A. Sánchez-Zapata
    • 1
  • J.D. Anadón
    • 1
  • M. Carrete
    • 1
  • A. Giménez
    • 1
  • J. Navarro
    • 1
  • C. Villacorta
    • 1
  • F. Botella
    • 1
  1. 1.Area de Ecología, Departamento de Biología AplicadaUniversidad Miguel Hernández de ElcheAlicanteSpain

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