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Aquatic macroinvertebrate biodiversity associated with artificial agricultural drainage ditches

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posted on 11.05.2016, 11:07 authored by Matthew J. Hill, Richard P. Chadd, N. Morris, J.D. Swaine, Paul WoodPaul Wood
Agricultural drainage ditches are ubiquitous features in lowland agricultural landscapes, built primarily to facilitate land drainage, irrigate agricultural crops and alleviate flood risk. Most drainage ditches are considered artificial waterbodies and are not typically included in routine monitoring programmes, and as a result the faunal and floral communities they support are poorly quantified. This paper characterises the aquatic macroinvertebrate diversity (alpha, beta and gamma) of agricultural drainage ditches managed by an internal drainage board in Lincolnshire, UK. The drainage ditches support very diverse macroinvertebrate communities at both the site (alpha diversity) and landscape scale (gamma diversity) with the main arterial drainage ditches supporting greater numbers of taxa when compared to smaller side ditches. Examination of the between site community heterogeneity (beta diversity) indicated that differences among ditches were high spatially and temporally. The results illustrate that both main arterial and side ditches make a unique contribution to aquatic biodiversity of the agricultural landscape. Given the need to maintain drainage ditches to support agriculture and flood defence measures, we advocate the application of principles from ‘reconciliation ecology’ to inform the future management and conservation of drainage ditches.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Hydrobiologia

Pages

1 - 12

Citation

HILL, M.J. ... et al, 2016. Aquatic macroinvertebrate biodiversity associated with artificial agricultural drainage ditches. Hydrobiologia, doi: 10.1007/s10750-016-2757-z, pp.1-12

Publisher

Springer International Publishing (© the authors)

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

Publication date

2016

Notes

This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com. The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10750-016-2757-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

ISSN

0018-8158

eISSN

1573-5117

Language

en

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