, Volume 689, Issue 1, pp 79-90,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 30 Aug 2011

Do biogeographic parameters matter? Plant species richness and distribution of macrophytes in relation to area and isolation of ponds in NW Polish agricultural landscape

Abstract

Effects of pond size and isolation on total vascular plant species richness and number of obligate wetland species were compared. Subsequently, the potential for the presence of spatial patterns in wetland species distribution among ponds in an agricultural landscape was explored. Relationships between species richness and two main biogeographic parameters were analysed using simple and multiple linearised regression models. Spatial patterns were looked for by means of analyses carried out with the R CRAN software (join-count statistics). Simple regression analyses performed on the regional scale (n = 50) revealed the significance of the effect of pond size only (r = 0.46 for total plant species richness and r = 0.28 for wetland species richness vs. pond area). Further analyses conducted on the local scale identified the best multiple regression models in the largest pond cluster (n = 20); the models showed statistical significance of relationships between the species richness and both independent variables (r = 0.80 for total plant species richness and r = 0.70 for wetland species richness vs. pond area and isolation, including mean distance to the nearest ten ponds). Spatial analyses were performed for 26 obligate wetland species selected from 149 species recorded in all the 50 ponds. Exploratory spatial data analysis revealed the presence of significant positive spatial autocorrelation in the distribution of 8 species. In such cases, it is possible to reject the random distribution hypothesis, which justifies exploration of spatial regimes. In practice, correct spatial model specifications may have implications for predicting species occurrences under changing environmental conditions, e.g. changes in the number of ponds.

Guest editors: D. Boix, B. Oertli, R. Céréghino, T. Kalettka, J. Biggs & A. P. Hull / Pond Research and Management in Europe – Proceedings of the 4th conference of the European Pond Conservation Network (Berlin 2010)