Macroinvertebrate community composition and diversity in ephemeral and perennial ponds on unregulated floodplain meadows in the UK
- 624 Downloads
Ponds are common and abundant landscape features in temperate environments, particularly on floodplains where lateral connectivity with riverine systems persists. Despite their widespread occurrence and importance to regional diversity, research on the ecology and hydrology of temperate ephemeral and perennial floodplain ponds lags behind that of other shallow waterbodies. This study examines the aquatic macroinvertebrate diversity of 34 ponds (20 perennial and 14 ephemeral) on two unregulated riverine floodplain meadows in Leicestershire, UK. Perennial ponds supported nearly twice the diversity of ephemeral ponds. Despite frequent inundation of floodwater and connectivity with other floodplain waterbodies, ephemeral ponds supported distinct invertebrate communities when compared to perennial ponds. When the relative importance of physical, chemical, biological and spatial characteristics was examined, physical and chemical characteristics were found to account for more variation in community composition than biological or spatial variables. The results suggest that niche characteristics rather than neutral colonisation processes dominate the structure of invertebrate communities of floodplain ponds. The maintenance of pond networks with varying hydroperiod lengths and environmental characteristics should be encouraged as part of conservation management strategies to provide heterogeneous environmental conditions to support and enhance aquatic biodiversity at a landscape scale.
KeywordsCommunity composition Community heterogeneity Connectivity Dry phase duration Hydroperiod Invertebrate Species richness
The authors gratefully acknowledge Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust that granted access to their land. Special thanks to Chris Hill for helping with the identification of pond sites. Thanks are extended to Barry Kenny, Stuart Ashby and Danielle Ashdown for their assistance in the field. MJH gratefully acknowledges the support of a Loughborough University Graduate School Studentship in the Department of Geography to undertake the research presented in this paper.
- Armitage, P. D., A. Hawczak & J. H. Blackburn, 2012. Tyre track pools and puddles – anthropogenic contributors to aquatic diversity. Limnetica 42: 254–263.Google Scholar
- Biggs, J., A. Corfield, D. Walker, M. Whitfield & P. Williams, 1994. New approaches to pond management. British Wildlife 5: 273–287.Google Scholar
- Biggs, J., G. Fox, M. Whitfield & P. Williams, 1998. A Guide to the Methods of the National Pond Survey. Pond Action, Oxford.Google Scholar
- Boix, D., J. Kneitel, B. J. Robson, C. Duchet, L. Zuniga, J. Day, S. Gascon, J. Sala, X. D. Quintana & L. Blaustein, 2016. Invertebrates of Freshwater Temporary Ponds in Mediterranean Climates. In Batzer, D. & D. Boix (eds), Invertebrates in Freshwater Wetlands. Springer International Publishing, Basel: 141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bratton, J. H., 1990. Seasonal Pools: an overlooked invertebrate habitat. British Wildlife 2: 22–29.Google Scholar
- BRIG. 2008. UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Habitat Descriptions. Ponds: 1–101. http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/PDF/UKBAP_PriorityHabitatDesc-Rev2010.pdf. Accessed 18 April 2016.
- Bronmark, C. & L. Hansson (eds), 2005. The Biology of Lakes and Ponds. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
- Castella, E., O. Béguin, A. L. Besacier-Monbertrand, D. Hug Peter, N. Lamouroux, H. Mayor Siméant, D. McCrae, J. M. Olivier & A. Paillex, 2015. Realised and predicted changes in the invertebrate benthos after restoration of connectivity to the floodplain of a large river. Freshwater Biology 60: 1131–1146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Clarke, K. R. & R. N. Gorley, 2006. PRIMER v6: User Manual/Tutorial. PRIMER E-Ltd, Plymouth.Google Scholar
- Collinson, N. H., J. Biggs, A. Corfield, M. J. Hodson, D. Walker, M. Whitfield & P. Williams, 1995. Temporary and permanent ponds: an assessment of the effects of drying out on the conservation value of aquatic macroinvertebrate communities. Biological Conservation 74: 125–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Drake, M., 2001. The importance of temporary waters for Diptera (true-flies). Freshwater Forum 17: 26–39.Google Scholar
- Dufrêne, M. & P. Legendre, 1997. Species assemblages and indicator species: the need for a flexible asymmetrical approach. Ecological Monographs 67: 345–366.Google Scholar
- Google Earth, 2015. https://earth.google.com [last accessed 12/05/2016].
- Hassall, C., M. Hill, D. Gledhill & J. Biggs, 2016. The Ecology and Management of Urban Pondscapes. In Francis, R., J. D. A. Millington & M. A. Chadwick (eds), Urban Landscape Ecology: Science, Policy and Practice. Routledge, Abingdon.Google Scholar
- JNCC. 2015. http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-3408. Accessed 15 July 2015.
- Lott, D., 2001. Ground beetles and rove beetles associated with temporary ponds in England. Freshwater Forum 17: 40–53.Google Scholar
- Marsh, T. J., S. Parry, M. C. Kendon & J. Hannaford, 2013. The 2010–12 Drought and Subsequent Extensive Flooding. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford: 54 pp.Google Scholar
- Merritt, R. W. & K. W. Cummins, 1996. An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Debuque.Google Scholar
- Nicolet, P., 2001. Temporary ponds in the UK: a critical diversity resource for freshwater plants and animals. Freshwater Forum 17: 16–25.Google Scholar
- Quinlan, J. R., 1993. Combining Instance-Based and Model-Based Learning. In Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Machine Learning. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco: 236–243.Google Scholar
- R Development Core Team, 2013. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for statistical computing: Vienna, Austria.Google Scholar
- Savage, A. A., 1989. Adults of the British Aquatic Hemiptera Heteroptera: A Key with Ecological Notes. Freshwater Biological Association Scientific Publication No. 50, Freshwater Biological Association, Cumbria.Google Scholar
- Tachet, H., P. Richoux, M. Bournaud & U. Usseglio-Polatera, 2003. Invertebres d’eau douche systematique, biologie, ecologie. CNRS Editions, Paris.Google Scholar
- ter Braak, C. J. F. & P. Šmilaur, 2002. CANOCO Reference Manual and CanoDraw for Windows Users Guide: Software for Canonical Community Ordination (Version 4.5). Microcomputer Power, Ithaca, New York.Google Scholar
- Williams, D. D., 2006. The Biology of Temporary Waters. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
- Williams, P., J. Biggs, A. Crowe, J. Murphy, P. Nicolet, A. Meatherby & M. Dunbar 2010. Countryside survey report from 2007. Technical report No 7/07 Pond Conservation and NERC/Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster.Google Scholar
- Williams, P., J. Biggs, G. Fox, P. Nicolet & M. Whitfield, 2001. History, origins and importance of temporary ponds. Freshwater Forum 17: 7–15.Google Scholar
- Witten, I. H. & E. Frank, 2000. Data Mining: Practical Machine Learning Tools and Techniques with Java Implementations. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco.Google Scholar
- Witten, I. H., E. Frank & M. A. Hall, 2011. Data Mining: Practical Machine Learning Tools and Techniques, 3rd ed. Morgan Kaufmann, Burlington.Google Scholar