Browsing by Subject "INVERTEBRATES"

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  • Nummi, Petri; Liao, Wenfei; van der Schoor, Juliette; Loehr, John (2021)
    Beavers (Castor spp.) are ecosystem engineers that induce local disturbance and ecological succession, which turns terrestrial into aquatic ecosystems and creates habitat heterogeneity in a landscape. Beavers have been proposed as a tool for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration. So far, most research has compared biodiversity in beaver wetlands and non-beaver wetlands, but few studies have explored how beaver-created succession affects specific taxa. In this study, we investigated how water beetles responded to different successional stages of wetlands in a beaver-disturbed landscape at Evo in southern Finland. We sampled water beetles with 1-L activity traps in 20 ponds, including: 5 new beaver ponds, 5 old beaver ponds, 5 former beaver ponds, and 5 never engineered ponds. We found that beaver wetlands had higher species richness and abundance than non-beaver wetlands, and that new beaver wetlands could support higher species richness (321%) and abundance (671%) of water beetles compared to old beaver wetlands. We think that higher water beetle diversity in new beaver ponds has resulted from habitat amelioration (available lentic water, shallow shores, aquatic vegetation, and low fish abundance) and food source enhancement (an increase of both dead and live prey) created by beaver dams and floods. We conclude that using beavers as a tool, or imitating their way of flooding, can be beneficial in wetland restoration if beaver population densities are monitored to ensure the availability of newly colonizable sites.
  • Kivilä, E. Henriikka; Luoto, Tomi P.; Rantala, Marttiina V.; Kiljunen, Mikko; Rautio, Milla; Nevalainen, Liisa (2019)
    Climate warming and consequent greening of subarctic landscapes increase the availability of organic carbon to the detrital food webs in aquatic ecosystems. This may cause important shifts in ecosystem functioning through the functional feeding patterns of benthic organisms that rely differently on climatically altered carbon resources. Twenty-five subarctic lakes in Finnish Lapland across a tree line ecotone were analysed for limnological and optical variables, carbon (delta C-13) and nitrogen (delta N-15) stable isotope (SI) composition of surface sediment organic matter (OM) and fossil Chironomidae (Diptera) remains to examine environmental controls behind chironomid functional feeding group (FFG) structure and their isotopic associations for assessing ecosystem functioning and carbon utilisation. We hypothesise that the chironomid SI signatures reflect increased allochthony with increasing allochthonous input, but the resource use may be altered by the functional characteristics of the assemblage. Multivariate analyses indicated that carbon geochemistry in the sediments (delta C-13, delta N-15, C/N), nutrients, indices of productivity (chlorophyll-a) and lake water optical properties, related to increasing presence of OM, played a key role in defining the chironomid FFG composition and isotopic signatures. Response modelling was used to examine how individual FFGs respond to environmental gradients. They showed divergent responses for OM quantity, dissolved organic carbon and nutrients between feeding strategies, suggesting that detritivores and filter feeders prefer contrasting carbon and nutrient conditions, and may thus hold paleoecological indicator potential to identify changes between different carbon fluxes. Benthic production was the primary carbon source for the chironomid assemblages according to a three-source SI mixing model, whereas pelagic and terrestrial components contributed less. Between-lake variability in source utilisation was high and controlled primarily by allochthonous OM inputs. Combination of biogeochemical modelling and functional classification is useful to widen our understanding of subarctic lake ecosystem functions and responses to climate-driven changes in limnology and catchment characteristics for long-term environmental change assessments and functional paleoecology.
  • Nummi, Petri; Holopainen, Sari (2020)
    Wetlands are declining worldwide, and there is a great need for their restoration and creation. One natural agent of wetland engineering is beavers,Castorspp., which have returned or are returning to many parts of their former range. We initially studied the facilitative effect of the beaverCastor canadensison a waterbird community consisting of three waders and four ducks in boreal wetlands in southern Finland. Both waterbird species diversity and abundance increased when beavers impounded a pond. Common tealAnas creccaand green sandpiperTringa ochropuswere the species showing the most positive numerical response, but the other five species also increased upon flooding. This article evaluates how the results of the study have been used in management, both in theory and practice. The whole-community facilitation concept has been taken up in numerous articles considering the restorative effects of beavers. It has also been used as ecological background when planning and executing man-made wetland projects in Finland within both the public and the private sectors. Our study and its publication inAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystemshave set a foundation for further evidence-based management of waterbird communities. As the results show, having beavers as wetland managers is a feasible tool for creating and restoring wetlands for waterbirds and other biota. Moreover, wetland restoration projects are becoming more popular endeavours, owing to an understanding of the diverse benefits of wetlands. Flooding by beavers is used as a model for managers when creating man-made wetlands; for example, in urban areas where it is difficult to maintain beavers.
  • Seppälä, Sini; Henriques, Sergio; Draney, Michael L.; Foord, Stefan; Gibbons, Alastair T.; Gomez, Luz A.; Kariko, Sarah; Malumbres-Olarte, Jagoba; Milne, Marc; Vink, Cor J.; Cardoso, Pedro (2018)
    Background The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the most widely used information source on the extinction risk of species. One of the uses of the Red List is to evaluate and monitor the state of biodiversity and a possible approach for this purpose is the Red List Index (RLI). For many taxa, mainly hyperdiverse groups, it is not possible within available resources to assess all known species. In such cases, a random sample of species might be selected for assessment and the results derived from it extrapolated for the entire group - the Sampled Red List Index (SRLI). With the current contribution and the three following papers, we intend to create the first point in time of a future spider SRLI encompassing 200 species distributed across the world. New information A sample of 200 species of spiders were randomly selected from the World Spider Catalogue, an updated global database containing all recognised species names for the group. The 200 selected species where divided taxonomically at the family level and the familes were ordered alphabetically. In this publication, we present the conservation profiles of 46 species belonging to the famillies alphabetically arranged between Agelenidae and Filistatidae, which encompassed Agelenidae, Amaurobiidae, Anyphaenidae, Araneidae, Archaeidae, Barychelidae, Clubionidae, Corinnidae, Ctenidae, Ctenizidae, Cyatholipidae, Dictynidae, Dysderidae, Eresidae and Filistatidae.
  • Nummi, Petri; Suontakanen, Eeva-Maria; Holopainen, Sari; Väänänen, Veli-Matti (2019)
    Avian species respond to ecological variability at a range of spatial scales and according to life history stage. Beaver dams create wetland systems for waterbirds that are utilized throughout different stages of the breeding season. We studied how beaver?induced variability affected mobile pairs and more sedentary broods along with the production of Common Teal Anas crecca at the patch and landscape scale on their breeding grounds. Beavers Castor spp. are ecosystem engineers that enhance waterfowl habitats by impeding water flow and creating temporary flooding. Two landscapes in southern Finland with (Evo) and without (Nuuksio) American Beavers Castor canadensis were used in this study. To investigate the patch?scale effect, pair and brood densities along with brood production were first compared at beaver?occupied lakes and non?beaver lakes in the beaver landscape. Annual pair and brood densities/km shoreline and brood production were compared between beaver and non?beaver landscapes. Facilitative effects of beaver activity were manifest on brood density at both patch and landscape scales: these were over 90 and 60 percent higher in beaver patches and landscapes, respectively. An effect of beaver presence on pair density was only seen at the landscape level. Pair density did not strongly affect brood production, as shown earlier for relatively mildly density?dependent Teal populations. Because the extent of beaver flooding was a crucial factor affecting annual Teal production in the study area, we infer beaver activity has consequences for the local Teal population. Ecosystem engineering by the beaver could therefore be considered as a restoration tool in areas where waterfowl are in need of high?quality habitats. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.