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The macroinvertebrate biodiversity and conservation value of garden and field ponds along a rural-urban gradient

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journal contribution
posted on 29.01.2015, 13:18 by Matthew J. Hill, Paul WoodPaul Wood
The biodiversity and conservation value of semi-natural and field ponds in rural locations are widely acknowledged to be high compared to other freshwater habitats. However, the wider value of urban ponds, and especially garden ponds, has been largely neglected in comparison. This study examines the biodiversity and conservation value of aquatic macroinvertebrates in ponds along an urban-rural continuum over three seasons. Macroinvertebrate faunal richness and diversity of garden ponds (in both urban and sub-urban locations) was markedly lower than that associated with field ponds. The fauna recorded in garden ponds were largely a subset of the taxa recorded in the wider landscape. A total of 146 taxa were recorded from the 26 ponds examined (135 taxa from field ponds and 44 taxa from garden ponds); although only 10 taxa were unique to garden ponds. Garden ponds were frequently managed (macrophytes removed or sediment dredged) and contained artificial fountains or flowing water features which allowed a number of flowing water (lotic) taxa to colonise and persist. Despite the relatively limited faunal diversity and reduced conservation value of garden ponds they have the potential to serve as refugia for some taxa, especially Odonata with highly mobile adults. At the landscape scale, garden ponds provide a diverse and abundant range of freshwater habitats that could play an important role in conserving urban-macroinvertebrate biodiversity. However, for this to be achieved there is a need to provide guidance to home-owners on how this potentially valuable resource can help support freshwater biodiversity.

Funding

MH gratefully acknowledges the support of a Loughborough University Graduate School studentship that enables him to undertake this research.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

FUNDAMENTAL AND APPLIED LIMNOLOGY

Volume

185

Issue

1

Pages

107 - 119 (13)

Citation

HILL, M.J. and WOOD, P.J., 2014. The macroinvertebrate biodiversity and conservation value of garden and field ponds along a rural-urban gradient. Fundamental and Applied Limnology, 185 (1), pp. 107 - 119.

Publisher

© E. Schweizerbartsche Verlagsbuchhandlung

Version

SMUR (Submitted Manuscript Under Review)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2014

Notes

This editorial was submitted for publication in the journal, Fundamental and Applied Limnology [© E. Schweizerbartsche Verlagsbuchhandlung]. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/fal/2014/0612

ISSN

1863-9135

Language

en