Community heterogeneity of aquatic macroinvertebrates in urban ponds at a multi-city scale

M. J. Hill, J. Biggs, I. Thornhill, R. A. Briers, M. Ledger, D. G. Gledhill, P. J. Wood, C. Hassall
  • Landscape Ecology, January 2018, Springer Science + Business Media
  • DOI: 10.1007/s10980-018-0608-1

What is it about?

This paper explores the diversity of macroinvertebrates (organisms that lack a backbone and can be seen by the naked eye) found in ponds within five UK cities. By sampling a total of 132 ponds, a significant difference in macroinvertebrate community composition within and among urban areas can be seen. Habitats on land often have low biodiversity as a response to urbanisation whereas the findings in this study suggest that aquatic habitats such as those found in ponds host a high diversity of macroinvertebrates in urban areas. This high diversity is most likely due to the wide range of environmental conditions found in urban ponds in addition to the isolation of ponds from one another.

Why is it important?

This study is significant because there has been little research into the effects of urbanisation on aquatic environments. Understanding patterns of diversity is helpful in identifying the most effective conservation management plan. The results from this study suggest that a landscape scale approach to pond conservation will be more successful than current practices which are often focused on individual water bodies.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Christopher Hassall

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