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Murillo-Pacheco JI, Rös M, Escobar F, Castro-Lima F, Verdú JR, López-Iborra GM. (2016) Effect of wetland management: Are lentic wetlands refuges of plant-species diversity in the Andean-Orinoco Piedmont of Colombia?PeerJ Preprints4:e2138v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.2138v1
Accelerated degradation of the wetlands and fragmentation of surrounding vegetation in the Andean-Orinoco Piedmont are the main threats to diversity and ecological integrity of these ecosystems; however, information on this topic is of limited availability. In this region, we evaluated the value of 37 lentic wetlands as reservoirs of woody and aquatic plants and, analyzed diversity and changes in species composition within and among groups defined according to management given by: 1) type (swamps, heronries, rice fields, semi-natural lakes, constructed lakes and fish farms) and, 2) origins (natural, mixed and artificial). A total of 506 plant species were recorded: 80% woody and 20% aquatic. Of these, 411 species (81%) were considered species typical of the area (Meta Piedmont distribution). Diversity patterns seem to be driven by high landscape heterogeneity and wetland management. The fish farms presented the highest diversity of woody plants, while swamps ranked highest for aquatic plant diversity. Regarding wetland origin, the artificial systems were the most diverse, but natural wetlands presented the highest diversity of typical species and can therefore be considered representative ecosystems at the regional scale. Our results suggest that lentic wetlands act as refuges for native vegetation of Meta Piedmont forest, hosting 55% of the woody of Piedmont species and 29% of the aquatic species of Orinoco basin. The wetlands showed a high species turnover and the results indicated that small wetlands (mean±SD: size = 11±18.7 ha), with a small area of surrounding forest (10±8.6 ha) supported high local and regional plant diversity. To ensure long-term conservation of lentic wetlands, it is necessary to develop management and conservation strategies that take both natural and created wetlands into account.
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Sample coverage (Ĉm), species richness (0D) and dominant species diversity (2D), and relative logarithmic inequality of woody (W) and aquatic (A) plants
(Ĉm is expressed as a percentage of completeness, values from 0 represent no completeness and values of 100 maximum completeness based on Chao & Jost (2012) . *only one single individual was found in this wetland, and it was excluded from the RLI analysis; -: in this wetland no plants in this formation were found during sample).
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