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Article

Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones?

1
Applied Ecology Group, Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC), Avd. Americo Vespucio s/n, 41092 Sevilla, Spain
2
Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(11), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12110439
Received: 24 September 2020 / Revised: 11 November 2020 / Accepted: 12 November 2020 / Published: 23 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Conservation)
The most common ecological response to climate change is the shifts in species distribution ranges. Nevertheless, landscape fragmentation compromises the ability of limited dispersal species to move following these climate changes. Building connected environments that enable species to track climate changes is an ultimate goal for biodiversity conservation. Here, we conducted an experiment to determine if electric power transmission lines could be transformed in a continental network of biodiversity reserves for small animals. We analysed if the management of the habitat located inside the base of the transmission electric towers (providing refuge and planting seedlings of native shrub) allowed to increase local richness of target species (i.e., small mammals and some invertebrates’ groups). Our results confirmed that by modifying the base of the electric transmission towers we were able to increase density and diversity of several species of invertebrates and small mammals as well as number of birds and bird species, increasing local biodiversity. We suggest that modifying the base of the electric towers would potentially facilitate the connection of fragmented populations. This idea would be easily applicable in any transmission line network anywhere around the world, making it possible for the first time to build up continental scale networks of connectivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: connectivity; climate change; fragmentation; limited dispersal animals; power lines; stepping-stones; ecological corridors; biodiversity connectivity; climate change; fragmentation; limited dispersal animals; power lines; stepping-stones; ecological corridors; biodiversity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ferrer, M.; De Lucas, M.; Hinojosa, E.; Morandini, V. Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones? Diversity 2020, 12, 439. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12110439

AMA Style

Ferrer M, De Lucas M, Hinojosa E, Morandini V. Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones? Diversity. 2020; 12(11):439. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12110439

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ferrer, Miguel, Manuela De Lucas, Elena Hinojosa, and Virginia Morandini. 2020. "Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones?" Diversity 12, no. 11: 439. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12110439

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