Study

The role of pond management for biodiversity conservation in an agricultural landscape

  • Published source details Sayer C., Andrews K., Shilland E., Edmonds N., Edmonds-Brown R., Patmore I., Emson D. & Axmacher J. (2012) The role of pond management for biodiversity conservation in an agricultural landscape. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 22, 626-638.

Summary

Action: Remove sediment

Action: Cut large trees/shrubs to maintain or restore disturbance

Action: Cut/mow herbaceous plants to maintain or restore disturbance

A replicated, site comparison study in 2009 of 28 ponds in Norfolk, UK (Sayer et al. 2012) found that ponds recently managed (by removing sediment and/or surrounding vegetation) supported a greater diversity of aquatic macrophytes than unmanaged ponds. Ponds managed ≤5 years previously had greater aquatic macrophyte diversity than unmanaged ponds in four of four comparisons (data reported as diversity indices). In contrast, ponds managed 6–10 years previously had statistically similar diversity to unmanaged ponds in two of two comparisons. Of 24 aquatic macrophyte taxa recorded, 18 only occurred in managed ponds (and eight only in ponds managed <5 years previously. One taxon occurred only in unmanaged ponds. For data on the frequency of individual species, see original paper. Methods: In spring and summer 2009, aquatic macrophytes (including bryophytes) were surveyed in 24 ponds (25–1,540 m2, generally <1 m deep). Eighteen of the ponds had been managed within the past 10 years: by removing sediment and/or surrounding vegetation (cutting back trees, shrubs or emergent herbs). The study does not distinguish between the effects of these interventions. The final six ponds had not been managed for ≥20 years.

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