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Maintenance of biodiversity in vineyard-dominated landscapes: a case study on larval salamanders


Tanadini, Matteo; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Meier, Pierre; Pellet, Jérôme; Perrin, Nicolas (2012). Maintenance of biodiversity in vineyard-dominated landscapes: a case study on larval salamanders. Animal Conservation, 15(2):136-141.

Abstract

Alteration of natural habitats as a result of agricultural intensification is detrimental for wildlife. There is, however, growing evidence that land use and management
can be wildlife friendly. In Europe, agricultural areas cover two-thirds of the land and therefore play a major role in maintaining biodiversity. Agricultural land use is very intense in vineyard-dominated landscapes but there are no refuges for wildlife in the form of ecological compensation areas. In our study, we assessed spatial variation in abundance of salamander (Salamandra salamandra) larvae in relation to land use and stream characteristics in vineyard-dominated landscapes. Abundance of larval salamanders depended positively on weirs, amount of riparian vegetation along the streams and environment-friendly agricultural practice in the vineyards. Surprisingly, road density also had positive effects, presumably through indirect effects (stone walls along roads may serve as refugia). Thus, abundance is determined by characteristics of both the aquatic and terrestrial
habitats. Our results suggest that fire salamanders can persist in landscapes dominated by intensive agriculture like viticulture, indicate wildlife-friendly management
options and highlight that man-made habitat can be valuable for wildlife.

Alteration of natural habitats as a result of agricultural intensification is detrimental for wildlife. There is, however, growing evidence that land use and management
can be wildlife friendly. In Europe, agricultural areas cover two-thirds of the land and therefore play a major role in maintaining biodiversity. Agricultural land use is very intense in vineyard-dominated landscapes but there are no refuges for wildlife in the form of ecological compensation areas. In our study, we assessed spatial variation in abundance of salamander (Salamandra salamandra) larvae in relation to land use and stream characteristics in vineyard-dominated landscapes. Abundance of larval salamanders depended positively on weirs, amount of riparian vegetation along the streams and environment-friendly agricultural practice in the vineyards. Surprisingly, road density also had positive effects, presumably through indirect effects (stone walls along roads may serve as refugia). Thus, abundance is determined by characteristics of both the aquatic and terrestrial
habitats. Our results suggest that fire salamanders can persist in landscapes dominated by intensive agriculture like viticulture, indicate wildlife-friendly management
options and highlight that man-made habitat can be valuable for wildlife.

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6 citations in Web of Science®
6 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:amphibian, salamander, Salamandra, habitat, abundance
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:19 Apr 2012 07:44
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:46
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1367-9430
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1469-1795.2011.00492.x
Related URLs:http://www.ieu.uzh.ch/research/ecology/amphibians.html (Author)
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-61652

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