The ecology and biodiversity of urban ponds

Christopher Hassall
  • Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Water, January 2014, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1014

What is it about?

I was invited to submit a review of the biodiversity value of urban ponds. This later expanding beyond simply describing biodiversity patterns to include the ecological processes that generate those patterns. I describe a wide-ranging set of potential negative impacts on urban pond biodiversity, including invasive species, mismanagement, pollution, and habitat destruction. However, I also took great care to highlight the benefits of these habitats in terms of their use in controlling stormwater, their role in local aesthetics, and the way in which they provide access to nature in inner cities. These ponds can be a fantastic resource if managed well.

Why is it important?

Research on urban water bodies has been growing, and this review highlights both the work that has been done up to now and the gaps in our current knowledge that should be filled in the future.

Perspectives

Dr Christopher Hassall (Author)
University of Leeds

Urban ecosystems are becoming increasingly important as areas for biodiversity conservation, as we begin to recognise the importance of preserving natural habitat within heavily modified environments for both wildlife and human well being. Urban ponds are a key part of this network of habitats within cities, and are commonly found in parks, gardens and industrial estates. In fact, there are an estimated 2.5-3.5 million garden ponds in the UK alone, which could have an area the size of Lake Windermere!

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Christopher Hassall