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Community heterogeneity of aquatic macroinvertebrates in urban ponds at a multi-city scale

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posted on 26.02.2018, 14:08 authored by Matthew J. Hill, Jeremy Biggs, Ian Thornhill, Robert A. Briers, M. Ledger, David G. Gledhill, Paul WoodPaul Wood, Christopher Hassall
Purpose: Urbanisation is a leading cause of biotic homogenisation in urban ecosystems. However, there has been little research examining the effect of urbanisation and biotic homogenisation on aquatic communities, and few studies have compared findings across different urban landscapes. We assessed the processes that structure aquatic macroinvertebrate diversity within five UK cities and characterise the heterogeneity of pond macroinvertebrate communities within and among urban areas. Methods: A total of 132 ponds were sampled for invertebrates to characterise biological communities of ponds across five UK cities. Variation among sites within cities, and variation among urban settlements, was partitioned into components of beta diversity relating to turnover and nestedness. Results: We recorded 337 macroinvertebrate taxa, and species turnover almost entirely accounted for the high beta-diversity recorded within each urban area and when all ponds were considered. A total of 40% of all macroinvertebrates recorded were unique to a particular urban settlement. In contrast to the homogenisation of terrestrial and lotic communities in urban landscapes reported in the literature, ponds support highly heterogeneous communities within and among urban settlements. Conclusions: The high species turnover (species replacement) recorded in this study demonstrates that urban pond biodiversity conservation would be most efficient at a landscape-scale, rather than at the individual ponds scale. Pond conservation practices need to consider the spatial organization of ecological communities (landscape-scale) to ensure that the maximum possible biodiversity can be protected.

Funding

Data from the Pond Life Project were collected under an EU LIFE Project grant.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Landscape Ecology

Pages

1 - 17

Citation

HILL, M.J. ... et al, 2018. Community heterogeneity of aquatic macroinvertebrates in urban ponds at a multi-city scale. Landscape Ecology, 33 (3), pp.389–405.

Publisher

Springer © 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/

Acceptance date

03/01/2018

Publication date

2018

Notes

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Springer under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

ISSN

0921-2973

eISSN

1572-9761

Language

en