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Artificial wetlands as breeding habitats for shorebirds: A case study on pied avocets in China’s largest saltpan complex
Lei, W.; Wu, Y.; Wu, F.; Piersma, T.; Zhang, Z.; Masero, J.A. (2021). Artificial wetlands as breeding habitats for shorebirds: A case study on pied avocets in China’s largest saltpan complex. Front. Ecol. Evol. 9: 622756.
In: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. Frontiers Media: Lausanne. ISSN 2296-701X; e-ISSN 2296-701X, meer
Peer reviewed article  

Beschikbaar in  Auteurs 

Author keywords
    Bohai Bay; breeding; nest success; waterbirds; Yellow Sea

Auteurs  Top 
  • Lei, W.
  • Wu, Y.
  • Wu, F.
  • Piersma, T., meer
  • Zhang, Z.
  • Masero, J.A.


    Artificial wetlands such as coastal saltpans have replaced a number of coastal natural habitats worldwide and may have accommodated specific waterbird populations in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway (EAAF). The role of saltpans in the EAAF as foraging grounds for shorebirds is widely recognized, although their role as breeding grounds for waterbirds is very limited and contradictory. The Nanpu saltpans in northern Bohai Bay, China, are one of the largest saltpan complexes in the world. In this study, wemonitored the nesting success (852 nests) of pied avocets ( Recurvirostra avosetta) during three breeding seasons (2015, 2016, and 2018) in the Nanpu saltpans. The nest daily survival rate (DSR) was 0.970; hence, nest survival over the 27 exposure days was 44%. The apparent nest success was 51%. Surprisingly, 55% of nests failed during the laying period. Flooding and nest abandonment were the main causes of nest failure during both the laying and incubation periods. We found a strong positive relationship between the DSR and nest age, with nests that approached hatching having a greater probability of survival than freshly started nests. We also found a strong negative relationship between the DSR and precipitation, with the highest DSR observed for nests that experienced no precipitation. The DSR decreased over the course of the 71-days nesting season and followed a linear trend. The DSR was also density dependent and decreased slightly when nests were denser. A literature review showed that nest survival in the Nanpu saltpans was average compared with that of other studies and that nest success in artificial wetlands was significantly higher than that in natural wetlands or both habitats. Nevertheless, nest success decreased with the study date, suggesting that that breeding conditions for the pied avocet are worsening with time. The loss of saltpans could negatively affect the population of avocets and other ground-nesting waterbird species; therefore, conservation actions and research efforts should be strengthened to understand and conserve these functional wetlands for waterbirds.

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