Macroinvertebrate community composition and diversity in ephemeral and perennial ponds on unregulated floodplain meadows in the UK

Matthew Hill, Russell Death, Kate Mathers, David B. Ryves, James White, Paul Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ponds are common and abundant landscape features in temperate environments, particularly on floodplains where lateral connectivity with riverine systems persists. Despite their widespread occurrence and importance to regional diversity, research on the ecology and hydrology of temperate ephemeral and perennial floodplain ponds lags behind that of other shallow waterbodies. This study examines the aquatic macroinvertebrate diversity of 34 ponds (20 perennial and 14 ephemeral) on two unregulated riverine floodplain meadows in Leicestershire, UK. Perennial ponds supported nearly twice the diversity of ephemeral ponds. Despite frequent inundation of floodwater and connectivity with other floodplain waterbodies, ephemeral ponds supported distinct invertebrate communities when compared to perennial ponds. When the relative importance of physical, chemical, biological and spatial characteristics was examined, physical and chemical characteristics were found to account for more variation in community composition than biological or spatial variables. The results suggest that niche characteristics rather than neutral colonisation processes dominate the structure of invertebrate communities of floodplain ponds. The maintenance of pond networks with varying hydroperiod lengths and environmental characteristics should be encouraged as part of conservation management strategies to provide heterogeneous environmental conditions to support and enhance aquatic biodiversity at a landscape scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-108
Number of pages14
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume793
Issue number1
Early online date13 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

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macroinvertebrates
floodplains
macroinvertebrate
meadow
meadows
community composition
floodplain
pond
ephemeral pool
connectivity
invertebrate
temperate environment
hydroperiod
invertebrates
conservation management
aquatic invertebrates
niche
hydrology
colonization
environmental conditions

Cite this

Hill, Matthew ; Death, Russell ; Mathers, Kate ; Ryves, David B. ; White, James ; Wood, Paul. / Macroinvertebrate community composition and diversity in ephemeral and perennial ponds on unregulated floodplain meadows in the UK. In: Hydrobiologia. 2017 ; Vol. 793, No. 1. pp. 95-108.
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Macroinvertebrate community composition and diversity in ephemeral and perennial ponds on unregulated floodplain meadows in the UK. / Hill, Matthew; Death, Russell; Mathers, Kate; Ryves, David B.; White, James; Wood, Paul.

In: Hydrobiologia, Vol. 793, No. 1, 06.2017, p. 95-108.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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