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Article

Amphibian Metacommunity Responses to Agricultural Intensification in a Mediterranean Landscape

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Área de Ecología, Departamento de Biodiversidad y Gestión Ambiental, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Callejón Campus Vegazana s/n, Universidad de León (ULE), 24071 León, Spain
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Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN-CSIC), c/ José Gutiérrez Abascal, 28006 Madrid, Spain
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Departamento de Biología Animal (Zoología), Universidad de Salamanca, 37007 Salamanca, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Juan F. Beltrán, Pedro Abellán and John Litvaitis
Land 2021, 10(9), 924; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090924
Received: 31 July 2021 / Revised: 28 August 2021 / Accepted: 29 August 2021 / Published: 2 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Protection and Habitat Management: Practice and Perspectives)
Agricultural intensification has been associated with biodiversity declines, habitat fragmentation and loss in a number of organisms. Given the prevalence of this process, there is a need for studies clarifying the effects of changes in agricultural practices on local biological communities; for instance, the transformation of traditional rainfed agriculture into intensively irrigated agriculture. We focused on pond-breeding amphibians as model organisms to assess the ecological effects of agricultural intensification because they are sensitive to changes in habitat quality at both local and landscape scales. We applied a metacommunity approach to characterize amphibian communities breeding in a network of ponds embedded in a terrestrial habitat matrix that was partly converted from rainfed crops to intensive irrigated agriculture in the 1990s. Specifically, we compared alpha and beta diversity, species occupancy and abundance, and metacommunity structure between irrigated and rainfed areas. We found strong differences in patterns of species occurrence, community structure and pairwise beta diversity between agricultural management groups, with a marked community structure in rainfed ponds associated with local features and the presence of some rare species that were nearly absent in the irrigated area, which was characterized by a random community structure. Natural vegetation cover at the landscape scale, significantly lower on the irrigated area, was an important predictor of species occurrences. Our results suggest that maintaining both local and landscape heterogeneity is key to preserving diverse amphibian communities in Mediterranean agricultural landscapes. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural management; amphibians; beta diversity; community ecology; metacommunities agricultural management; amphibians; beta diversity; community ecology; metacommunities
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MDPI and ACS Style

Albero, L.; Martínez-Solano, Í.; Arias, A.; Lizana, M.; Bécares, E. Amphibian Metacommunity Responses to Agricultural Intensification in a Mediterranean Landscape. Land 2021, 10, 924. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090924

AMA Style

Albero L, Martínez-Solano Í, Arias A, Lizana M, Bécares E. Amphibian Metacommunity Responses to Agricultural Intensification in a Mediterranean Landscape. Land. 2021; 10(9):924. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090924

Chicago/Turabian Style

Albero, Luis, Íñigo Martínez-Solano, Ana Arias, Miguel Lizana, and Eloy Bécares. 2021. "Amphibian Metacommunity Responses to Agricultural Intensification in a Mediterranean Landscape" Land 10, no. 9: 924. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090924

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