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Functional representativeness and distinctiveness of reintroduced birds and mammals in Europe

Abstract : Abstract Reintroduction, the human-mediated movement of organisms to re-establish locally extinct populations, has become a popular conservation tool. However, because reintroductions often focus on local or national conservation issues, their contribution to the conservation of biodiversity at large scale remains unclear. While taxonomic biases have already been identified in reintroduction programs at regional scales, studies have stressed the need to account for other facets of biodiversity when assessing the relevance of the allocation of conservation efforts. In particular, it may be very fruitful to discriminate if and how such taxonomic biases may influence the functional complementarity of reintroduction targets, and to which extent reintroduction practitioners may have focused on species performing more singular functions than others. Here, we investigate the diversity of functional traits supported by reintroduced species of terrestrial birds and mammals in Europe. For each taxonomic group, we explored the functional representativeness of reintroduction targets at the European scale, i.e., whether species involved in reintroduction programs collectively represent the range of functional trait variation observed in the regional assemblage. Because additional conservation value could have been given by practitioners to species performing singular functions, we also measured the functional distinctiveness of reintroduced species. We found that reintroductions of birds did not focus on functionally distinct species, and that the subset of reintroduced birds is representative of the functional diversity at a continental scale. However, reintroductions of mammals involved more functionally distinct species than expected, even though reintroduced mammals are not collectively representative of the functional diversity of the continental assemblage.
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Contributor : Alexandre Robert Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, September 1, 2022 - 11:45:37 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 2, 2022 - 3:48:52 AM

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Charles Thévenin, Maud Mouchet, Alexandre Robert, Christian Kerbiriou, François Sarrazin. Functional representativeness and distinctiveness of reintroduced birds and mammals in Europe. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2022, 12 (1), pp.4081. ⟨10.1038/s41598-022-07991-x⟩. ⟨mnhn-03766592⟩



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