, Volume 723, Issue 1, pp 7–23 | Cite as

Level-dependence of the relationships between amphibian biodiversity and environment in pond systems within an intensive agricultural landscape

  • Alienor JeliazkovEmail author
  • François Chiron
  • Josette Garnier
  • Aurélien Besnard
  • Marie Silvestre
  • Frédéric Jiguet


Wetlands, especially ponds, and their associated amphibian biodiversity are threatened by agricultural intensification. To improve conservation planning of these ecosystems, we need to understand at which scales biodiversity responds to human-induced disturbances. This study aims to assess the level-dependence of environment-amphibian biodiversity relationships in 150 ponds in an intensive agricultural landscape in Seine-et-Marne (France). Amphibian diversity surveys, site characteristic measurements and landscape descriptions are analysed. The hierarchy of the effects of local and regional variables on species richness, regional heterogeneity of species composition and species occurrences is investigated at three spatial levels: pond level, 1-, and 4-km2 level. Species richness is negatively influenced at all levels by the fish presence. Water quality and pond density, which emphasize level-dependent effects, significantly increase species richness at the local and regional levels, respectively. With few exceptions, species occurrence analysis shows similar patterns, confirming, locally, the importance of fish avoidance, and, regionally, the need for increasing pond density. Environmental variables have no effect on the regional heterogeneity of species composition, questioning the potential existence of dispersal processes at scales above 1 km2. This study highlights the relevance of a pond-group-centred approach compared to a pond-centred approach with regard to pond conservation in agricultural landscapes.


Agricultural landscape Ponds Amphibians Habitats Biodiversity Spatial scales 



The Fédération d’Ile-de-France pour la Recherche en Environnement (FIRE FR-3020) is greatly acknowledged for the PhD grant awarded to Aliénor Jeliazkov, as well as the two Master grants for field studies for 2 years. The authors thank the following people: the farmers, landowners and town councils of Seine-et-Marne for their cooperation and access to their ponds; the student interns, Fabien Michel, Flora Guillier, Victor Court, Pietro Viacava, Nicolas El Battari and Elodie Rey, as well as the other occasional support companions, for their help in the field; Benjamin Mercier for his technical help with water analysis at the Sisyphe Laboratory (UMR 7619, Paris, France); the Société Nationale de Protection de la Nature and the Département de Seine-et-Marne for sharing their data on pond localisation; and the departmental environment agency, Seine-et-Marne Environnement, for providing training with species identification.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alienor Jeliazkov
    • 1
    Email author
  • François Chiron
    • 1
  • Josette Garnier
    • 2
  • Aurélien Besnard
    • 3
  • Marie Silvestre
    • 2
    • 4
  • Frédéric Jiguet
    • 1
  1. 1. Département Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, Laboratoire Conservation des Espèces, Restauration et Suivi des, Populations, UMR 7204, MNHN & CNRSMuséum National d’Histoire NaturelleParisFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire Sisyphe, UMR 7619, UPMC & CNRSUniversité Pierre et Marie CurieParisFrance
  3. 3.UMR 5175, CEFE & CNRSCentre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, Montpellier Cedex 5France
  4. 4.FR3020, UPMC & CNRS, Fédération Ile-de-France de Recherche sur l’EnvironnementUniversité Pierre et Marie CurieParisFrance

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