Nine Years On: Revisiting the Pond Communities of the Lizard Peninsula, UK

Billie Rowan

Abstract


Ponds contribute in various amounts to freshwater biodiversity and in some regions can be of considerably high biodiversity value compared to other freshwaters. The ecology of pond communities has been studied by numerous authors, yet many of these studies represent only a snapshot in time. This study explored the macroinvertebrate communities of a selection of ponds on the Lizard Peninsula, UK and revisited these ponds after a nine year period, examining changes in composition, environmental variables structuring the communities and their conservation value. Ponds in both years formed distinct groups, based on community similarities. In both years area was an important environmental variable structuring the communities and in the first year visited water chemistry and number of plant species also contributed. Between the two years the number of macroinvertebrate species remained similar, 72 in 2000 and 74 in 2009, but the identity of the species within the pond communities differed. The conservation value of the pond communities between the two years did not significantly differ. With regards to conserving these Lizard ponds, turnover in ponds has not affected their biodiversity value and management should allow for such processes to take place.

Key Words: Macroinvertebrates, community structure, conservation value, turnover

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ISSN 1754-2383 [Online] ©University of Plymouth