Artificial coastal lagoons at solar salt-working sites: A network of habitats for specialised, protected and alien biodiversity.

Herbert, R. J.H., Stillman, R. A., Broderick, L., Ross, K., Moody, C., Cruz, T. and Clarke, L., 2018. Artificial coastal lagoons at solar salt-working sites: A network of habitats for specialised, protected and alien biodiversity. Estuarine, coastal and shelf science, 203 (April), 1 - 16.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2018.01.015

Abstract

There are concerns that novel structures might displace protected species, facilitate the spread of nonindigenous species, or modify native habitats. It is also predicted that ocean warming and the associated effects of climate change will significantly increase biodiversity loss within coastal regions. Resilience is to a large extent influenced by the magnitude of dispersal and level of connectivity within and between populations. Therefore it is important to investigate the distribution and ecological significance of novel and artificial habitats, the presence of protected and alien species and potential vectors of propagule dispersal. The legacy of solar salt-making in tropical and warm temperate regions is regionally extensive areas of artificial hypersaline ponds, canals and ditches. Yet the broad-scale contribution of salt-working to a network of benthic biodiversity has not been fully established. Artisanal, abandoned and historic salt-working sites were investigated along the Atlantic coast of Europe between southern England (50 N) and Andalucía, Spain (36 N). Natural lagoons are scarce along this macrotidal coast and are vulnerable to environmental change; however it is suspected that avian propagule dispersal is important in maintaining population connectivity. During bird migration periods, benthic cores were collected for infauna from 70 waterbodies across 21 salt-working sites in 5 coastal regions. Bird ringing data were used to investigate potential avian connectivity between locations. Lagoonal specialist species, some of international conservation importance, were recorded across all regions in the storage reservoirs and evaporation ponds of continental salinas, yet few non-indigenous species were observed. Potential avian propagule transport and connectivity within and between extant salt-working sites is high and these artificial habitats are likely to contribute significantly to a network of coastal lagoon biodiversity in Europe

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0272-7714
Uncontrolled Keywords:Climate Change; Transitional Waters; Coastal lagoons; Artificial Habitats; Avian connectivity; Brackish lagoons ; Structures ; Environmental Change ; salinas ; salterns ; Non-indigenous species
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:30585
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:17 Apr 2018 08:45
Last Modified:17 Apr 2018 08:45

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