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2024-02-27Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/29101
Freshwater megafauna shape ecosystems and facilitate restoration
dc.contributor.authorHe, Fengzhi
dc.contributor.authorSvenning, Jens-Christian
dc.contributor.authorChen, Xing
dc.contributor.authorTockner, Klement
dc.contributor.authorKuemmerle, Tobias
dc.contributor.authorLe Roux, Elizabeth
dc.contributor.authorMoleón, Marcos
dc.contributor.authorGessner, Jörn
dc.contributor.authorJähnig, Sonja C.
dc.date.accessioned2024-07-10T11:47:49Z
dc.date.available2024-07-10T11:47:49Z
dc.date.issued2024-02-27none
dc.date.updated2024-07-09T19:15:28Z
dc.identifier.issn1464-7931
dc.identifier.issn1469-185X
dc.identifier.urihttp://edoc.hu-berlin.de/18452/29720
dc.description.abstractFreshwater megafauna, such as sturgeons, giant catfishes, river dolphins, hippopotami, crocodylians, large turtles, and giant salamanders, have experienced severe population declines and range contractions worldwide. Although there is an increasing number of studies investigating the causes of megafauna losses in fresh waters, little attention has been paid to synthesising the impacts of megafauna on the abiotic environment and other organisms in freshwater ecosystems, and hence the consequences of losing these species. This limited understanding may impede the development of policies and actions for their conservation and restoration. In this review, we synthesise how megafauna shape ecological processes in freshwater ecosystems and discuss their potential for enhancing ecosystem restoration. Through activities such as movement, burrowing, and dam and nest building, megafauna have a profound influence on the extent of water bodies, flow dynamics, and the physical structure of shorelines and substrata, increasing habitat heterogeneity. They enhance nutrient cycling within fresh waters, and cross-ecosystem flows of material, through foraging and reproduction activities. Freshwater megafauna are highly connected to other freshwater organisms via direct consumption of species at different trophic levels, indirect trophic cascades, and through their influence on habitat structure. The literature documenting the ecological impacts of freshwater megafauna is not evenly distributed among species, regions, and types of ecological impacts, with a lack of quantitative evidence for large fish, crocodylians, and turtles in the Global South and their impacts on nutrient flows and food-web structure. In addition, population decline, range contraction, and the loss of large individuals have reduced the extent and magnitude of megafaunal impacts in freshwater ecosystems, rendering a posteriori evaluation more difficult. We propose that reinstating freshwater megafauna populations holds the potential for restoring key ecological processes such as disturbances, trophic cascades, and species dispersal, which will, in turn, promote overall biodiversity and enhance nature's contributions to people. Challenges for restoration actions include the shifting baseline syndrome, potential human–megafauna competition for habitats and resources, damage to property, and risk to human life. The current lack of historical baselines for natural distributions and population sizes of freshwater megafauna, their life history, trophic interactions with other freshwater species, and interactions with humans necessitates further investigation. Addressing these knowledge gaps will improve our understanding of the ecological roles of freshwater megafauna and support their full potential for facilitating the development of effective conservation and restoration strategies to achieve the coexistence of humans and megafauna.eng
dc.description.sponsorshipVillum Fonden http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100008398
dc.description.sponsorshipLeibniz‐Gemeinschaft http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001664
dc.description.sponsorshipDanmarks Frie Forskningsfond http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100004836
dc.description.sponsorshipDanmarks Grundforskningsfond http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001732
dc.description.sponsorshipDeutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001655
dc.description.sponsorshipChinese Academy of Sciences http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100002367
dc.language.isoengnone
dc.publisherHumboldt-Universität zu Berlin
dc.rights(CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationalger
dc.rights.urihttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
dc.subjectbody sizeeng
dc.subjectconservationeng
dc.subjectecosystem functioneng
dc.subjectdispersaleng
dc.subjectkeystone specieseng
dc.subjectlarge animaleng
dc.subjectnature's contributions to peopleeng
dc.subjectreintroductioneng
dc.subjecttop predatoreng
dc.subjecttrophic complexityeng
dc.subject.ddc550 Geowissenschaftennone
dc.subject.ddc570 Biologienone
dc.titleFreshwater megafauna shape ecosystems and facilitate restorationnone
dc.typearticle
dc.identifier.urnurn:nbn:de:kobv:11-110-18452/29720-6
dc.identifier.doihttp://dx.doi.org/10.18452/29101
dc.type.versionpublishedVersionnone
local.edoc.pages23none
local.edoc.type-nameZeitschriftenartikel
local.edoc.container-typeperiodical
local.edoc.container-type-nameZeitschrift
dc.description.versionPeer Reviewednone
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.doi10.1111/brv.13062
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.journaltitleBiological reviewsnone
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.volume99none
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.issue4none
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.originalpublishernameBlackwellnone
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.originalpublisherplaceOxfordnone
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.pagestart1141none
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.pageend1163none
bua.departmentMathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultätnone

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