Macroinvertebrate diversity in urban and rural ponds

Implications for freshwater biodiversity conservation

Matthew Hill, David Ryves, James White, Paul Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ponds are among the most biodiverse freshwater ecosystems, yet face significant threats from removal, habitat degradation and a lack of legislative protection globally. Information regarding the habitat quality and biodiversity of ponds across a range of land uses is vital for the long term conservation and management of ecological resources. In this study we examine the biodiversity and conservation value of macroinvertebrates from 91 lowland ponds across 3 land use types (35 floodplain meadow, 15 arable and 41 urban ponds). A total of 224 macroinvertebrate taxa were recorded across all ponds, with urban ponds and floodplain ponds supporting a greater richness than arable ponds at the landscape scale. However, at the alpha scale, urban ponds supported lower faunal diversity (mean: 22 taxa) than floodplain (mean: 32 taxa) or arable ponds (mean: 30 taxa). Floodplain ponds were found to support taxonomically distinct communities compared to arable and urban ponds. A total of 13 macroinvertebrate taxa with a national conservation designation were recorded across the study area and 12 ponds (11 floodplain and 1 arable pond) supported assemblages of high or very high conservation value. Pond conservation currently relies on the designation of individual ponds based on very high biodiversity or the presence of taxa with specific conservation designations. However, this site specific approach fails to acknowledge the contribution of ponds to freshwater biodiversity at the landscape scale. Ponds are highly appropriate sites outside of protected areas (urban/arable), with which the general public are already familiar, for local and landscape scale conservation of freshwater habitats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume201
Early online date5 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes

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macroinvertebrates
macroinvertebrate
pond
biodiversity
floodplains
floodplain
land use
habitats
freshwater ecosystem
habitat
habitat quality
rangelands
meadow
meadows
protected area

Cite this

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title = "Macroinvertebrate diversity in urban and rural ponds: Implications for freshwater biodiversity conservation",
abstract = "Ponds are among the most biodiverse freshwater ecosystems, yet face significant threats from removal, habitat degradation and a lack of legislative protection globally. Information regarding the habitat quality and biodiversity of ponds across a range of land uses is vital for the long term conservation and management of ecological resources. In this study we examine the biodiversity and conservation value of macroinvertebrates from 91 lowland ponds across 3 land use types (35 floodplain meadow, 15 arable and 41 urban ponds). A total of 224 macroinvertebrate taxa were recorded across all ponds, with urban ponds and floodplain ponds supporting a greater richness than arable ponds at the landscape scale. However, at the alpha scale, urban ponds supported lower faunal diversity (mean: 22 taxa) than floodplain (mean: 32 taxa) or arable ponds (mean: 30 taxa). Floodplain ponds were found to support taxonomically distinct communities compared to arable and urban ponds. A total of 13 macroinvertebrate taxa with a national conservation designation were recorded across the study area and 12 ponds (11 floodplain and 1 arable pond) supported assemblages of high or very high conservation value. Pond conservation currently relies on the designation of individual ponds based on very high biodiversity or the presence of taxa with specific conservation designations. However, this site specific approach fails to acknowledge the contribution of ponds to freshwater biodiversity at the landscape scale. Ponds are highly appropriate sites outside of protected areas (urban/arable), with which the general public are already familiar, for local and landscape scale conservation of freshwater habitats.",
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Macroinvertebrate diversity in urban and rural ponds : Implications for freshwater biodiversity conservation. / Hill, Matthew; Ryves, David; White, James; Wood, Paul.

In: Biological Conservation, Vol. 201, 09.2016, p. 50-59.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Ryves, David

AU - White, James

AU - Wood, Paul

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