Vernal pools enhance local vertebrate activity and diversity in a boreal landscape

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Dixneuf , C , Peiris , P , Nummi , P & Sundell , J 2021 , ' Vernal pools enhance local vertebrate activity and diversity in a boreal landscape ' , Global Ecology and Conservation , vol. 31 , 01858 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2021.e01858

Title: Vernal pools enhance local vertebrate activity and diversity in a boreal landscape
Author: Dixneuf, Charly; Peiris, Parami; Nummi, Petri; Sundell, Janne
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences
University of Helsinki, Biological stations
Date: 2021-11
Language: eng
Number of pages: 14
Belongs to series: Global Ecology and Conservation
ISSN: 2351-9894
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/336514
Abstract: Biodiversity and habitats are under threat from many factors such as human population increase, habitat loss, fragmentation, and climate change. In freshwater habitats, including wetlands, biodiversity is expected to decline on a greater scale than in terrestrial ecosystems. Ephemeral wetlands are little studied habitats compared to other wetlands, such as permanent lakes and rivers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the vertebrate fauna present by ephemeral vernal pools and to see whether vernal pools increase the activity and diversity of vertebrates in a boreal forest ecosystem in northern Europe. We studied the activity and species richness of birds and mammals with direct observations, camera traps, feces tracking, and snap-trapping by ten vernal pools and ten permanent wetlands. Bird activity was higher in the spring period in vernal pools than in permanent wetlands. For large mammals, both activity and species richness were greater around vernal pools than by permanent wetlands. Of individuals species, the moose (Alces alces), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), and hares (Lepus europaeus and Lepus timidus) used vernal pools significantly more between seasons compared to permanent wetlands. Small mammal activity was higher by vernal pools in April, while in May and June the pattern reversed. In the light of these results, vernal pools seem to have different importance and use depending on the vertebrate group, e.g., for sheltering, foraging, resting, nesting, or thermoregulation.
Subject: vernal pool
vertebrate
activity
species richness
community
boreal forest ecosystem
HARES LEPUS-TIMIDUS
ROE DEER
HABITAT SELECTION
MOOSE
FOREST
SUMMER
DYTISCIDAE
CHEMISTRY
TEMPORARY
WETLANDS
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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