Special Issue "Impacts of Linear Infrastructures on Wildlife"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Luís Borda-de-água
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. CIBIO/InBio, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Laboratório Associado, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
2. CIBIO/InBio, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Laboratório Associado, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: theoretical ecology;macroecology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Linear Infrastructures (power lines, railways, roads, water channels and including here also wind farms) are major features of every modern economy and they play a major role in the wellbeing of modern societies. They are also a source of ecological problems. For instance, they fragment the landscape (thus reducing the gene flow among populations), they increase the mortality of several species, they facilitate species invasions, and they are sources of pollution (e.g. Forman et al. 2003, Borda-de-Água et al. 2017, Mascarenhas et al. 2017). How to mitigate the impact of these infrastructures is paramount to ensure their sustainable use. Concomitantly with the development of methods that better identify the impact of these infrastructures on wild animal populations, such as, the development of methods to better characterize the extent of the mortality caused, there is also a need to develop methods that improve our quantitative understanding of the impact on the viability of the affected population and the effects on the ecosystem. This Special Issue provides a platform to highlight new research and significant advances in understanding the impact of linear infrastructures, how to mitigate their impacts in the ecosystems, and how to quantify their role in the dynamics of the local populations.

Borda-de-Água, Luís, Rafael Barrientos, Pedro Beja, and Henrique M. Pereira. "Railway ecology." In Railway Ecology, pp. 3-9. Springer, Cham, 2017.

Forman, Richard TT. Road ecology: science and solutions. Island Press, 2003.

Mascarenhas, Miguel, Ana Teresa Marques, Ricardo Ramalho, Dulce Santos, Joana Bernardino, and Carlos Fonseca, eds. Biodiversity and Wind Farms in Portugal: Current knowledge and insights for an integrated impact assessment process. Springer, 2017.

Dr. Luís Borda-de-água
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Invasive species
  • Linear infrastructures
  • Population viability analysis
  • Power lines
  • Railway ecology
  • Road ecology
  • Wind farms

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
How Roads Affect the Spatial Use of the Guanaco in a South American Protected Area: Human Connectivity vs Animal Welfare
Diversity 2019, 11(7), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11070110 - 12 Jul 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1369
Abstract
Roads can affect animals as well as their habits at different levels. Avoidance behavior is a common response of animals to this type of perturbation, preventing access to areas rich in resources. The effects of roads on ungulates have not been studied in [...] Read more.
Roads can affect animals as well as their habits at different levels. Avoidance behavior is a common response of animals to this type of perturbation, preventing access to areas rich in resources. The effects of roads on ungulates have not been studied in South America extensively, especially in arid environments. We have studied the space use by ungulates in relation to roads, using a dung heap count and camera traps. The aim was to evaluate whether paved road and unpaved road may have an effect on the spatial use of a low density population of guanacos (Lama guanicoe) in Ischigualasto Provincial Park, Argentina. We observed an increase in dung heap abundance in unpaved road as respect to paved road, this difference was larger for both. Besides, we recorded less individuals in paved road zones than in unpaved road zones. This showed that roads, especially paved roads, negatively affect the space used by guanacos. Our results are relevant to the management and conservation of animal populations in protected areas since spatial segregation due to the presence of roads may lead to the isolation of individuals. It is important to pay attention and further assess the effects that roads can have in the native fauna. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Linear Infrastructures on Wildlife)
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Article
Spatial Response to Linear Infrastructures by the Endangered Golden Lion Tamarin
Diversity 2019, 11(7), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11070100 - 26 Jun 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1809
Abstract
Linear infrastructures are a primary driver of economic development. However, they also can negatively affect wildlife by mortality and the barrier effect. In this paper, we address how paved and unpaved roads, high-tension power lines, and gas/oil pipelines affect home range size, core [...] Read more.
Linear infrastructures are a primary driver of economic development. However, they also can negatively affect wildlife by mortality and the barrier effect. In this paper, we address how paved and unpaved roads, high-tension power lines, and gas/oil pipelines affect home range size, core areas, and movement in an endangered primate, the golden lion tamarin (GLT). Location data were recorded using radio telemetry on 16 groups in two protected areas and in privately owned forest fragments. The GLT’s home range, not core area, increased in size for the groups that occupied locations far from linear infrastructures; home range was also significantly influenced by available forest size. None of the home ranges contained a road, but home ranges did contain power lines. GLTs used the surrounding landscape near all types of infrastructure. Movement analysis showed that most of the step lengths (distances between subsequent locations) were less than 100 m between two consecutive locations, but step length was longer for roads and longer for groups in fully forested habitats. Tamarins avoided paved roads when in close proximity to this type of infrastructure; this behavior increased in areas without adequate adjacent forest habitat. Our results show that linear infrastructures differ in their level of impact: roads can act as a barrier, whereas other types of infrastructure have minimal effect on movement and home range. We discuss these differences in impact in terms of structure, maintenance schedules, and edge effects of infrastructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Linear Infrastructures on Wildlife)
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Communication
Mitigating Tropical Forest Fragmentation with Natural and Semi-Artificial Canopy Bridges
Diversity 2019, 11(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11040066 - 23 Apr 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3011
Abstract
Fragmentation caused by linear infrastructures is a threat to forest-dwelling wildlife globally. Loss of canopy connectivity is particularly problematic for highly arboreal species such as those of the Neotropics. We explored the use of both natural canopy bridges (NCBs) and a semi-artificial one [...] Read more.
Fragmentation caused by linear infrastructures is a threat to forest-dwelling wildlife globally. Loss of canopy connectivity is particularly problematic for highly arboreal species such as those of the Neotropics. We explored the use of both natural canopy bridges (NCBs) and a semi-artificial one over a natural gas pipeline right-of-way (RoW) in the Peruvian Amazon to provide more information on both a proven and a novel solution to the problem of fragmentation. We monitored seven NCBs over 14 months and found crossing rates higher than previously recorded (57.70 crossings/100 trap nights by 16 species). We also constructed a semi-artificial canopy bridge (SACB) out of a liana and found it to be used quickly (seven days after installation) and frequently (90.23 crossings/100 trap nights—nearly nightly) by five species (two procyonids, one didelphid, one primate, and one rodent). This information contributes to our knowledge of mitigation solutions for fragmentation. As linear infrastructure grows globally, more solutions must be developed and tested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Linear Infrastructures on Wildlife)
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Article
Seasonal Use of Railways by Wildlife
Diversity 2018, 10(4), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/d10040104 - 25 Sep 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1625
Abstract
Despite the rapid advancements in the field of road ecology, very little research has been done in railway ecology. Basic research, such as railway use by wildlife, is relatively undocumented, albeit very important in understanding the potential negative and positive effects of railways [...] Read more.
Despite the rapid advancements in the field of road ecology, very little research has been done in railway ecology. Basic research, such as railway use by wildlife, is relatively undocumented, albeit very important in understanding the potential negative and positive effects of railways on wildlife and ecosystems. We provide one of the first studies documenting wildlife railway use using motion-triggered cameras along a 20 km stretch of railway in Ontario. Our objectives were to develop a much-needed baseline understanding of railway use by endemic wildlife species, investigate differences in frequency of use among species, compare diurnal versus nocturnal use, and determine if railway use by wildlife was uniform or spatially varied. We found a significant proportion of medium-to-large resident mammalian fauna and several avian species non-uniformly using the studied railway. Some species used the railway as a travel corridor, while others appeared to use it incidentally. Diel and seasonal patterns of use were apparent for many species. Our findings emphasize the importance of species-specific investigations of railway ecology. The collection of baseline information on railway use by wildlife is critical in view of the dearth of available data, and we highly encourage further research in all aspects of wildlife–railway ecology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Linear Infrastructures on Wildlife)
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Review

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Review
A Review of the Impacts of Roads on Wildlife in Semi-Arid Regions
Diversity 2019, 11(5), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11050081 - 19 May 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2413
Abstract
Roads now penetrate even the most remote parts of much of the world, but the majority of research on the effects of roads on biota has been in less remote temperate environments. The impacts of roads in semi-arid and arid areas may differ [...] Read more.
Roads now penetrate even the most remote parts of much of the world, but the majority of research on the effects of roads on biota has been in less remote temperate environments. The impacts of roads in semi-arid and arid areas may differ from these results in a number of ways. Here, we review the research on the impacts of roads on biodiversity patterns and ecological and evolutionary processes in semi-arid regions. The most obvious effect of roads is mortality or injury through collision. A diversity of scavengers are killed whilst feeding on roadkill, a source of easily accessed food. Noise pollution from roads and traffic interferes with vocal communication by animals, and birds and frogs living along noisy roads compensate for traffic noise by increasing the amplitude or pitch of their calls. Artificial light along roads impacts certain species’ ability to navigate, as well as attracting invertebrates. Animals are in turn attracted to invertebrates at streetlights, and vulnerable to becoming roadkill themselves. Genetics research across taxa confirms a loss of genetic diversity in small populations isolated by roads, but the long-term impact on the fitness of affected populations through a reduction in genetic diversity is not yet clear. Roads may rapidly cause genetic effects, raising conservation concerns about rare and threatened species. We assess mitigation measures and collate methods to identify the impact of roads on wildlife populations and their associated ecosystems, with a particular focus on recent advances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Linear Infrastructures on Wildlife)
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