The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Consequences of fish for cladoceran, water beetle and macrophyte communities in a farmland pond landscape: implications for conservation

Consequences of fish for cladoceran, water beetle and macrophyte communities in a farmland pond landscape: implications for conservation
Consequences of fish for cladoceran, water beetle and macrophyte communities in a farmland pond landscape: implications for conservation
Traditionally, fish have been neglected in pond ecology and conservation studies and it has frequently been assumed that they have a detrimental impact on pond biodiversity and ecosystem function. In order to assess the consequences of fish for pond biodiversity and ecosystem structure we sampled a set of 40 small farmland ponds (20 with and 20 without fish) in eastern England and compared their water chemistry as well as assemblage characteristics (abundance, diversity, species composition) for three biological groups: cladocerans (zooplankton), water beetles and macrophytes. Water depth was significantly greater in fish ponds, while pond bottom oxygen levels and pH were significantly higher in the ponds without fish. The presence of fish significantly reduced the abundance of macrophytes and altered the community composition of cladocerans and macrophytes, but had no detectable influence on water beetles. Variation partitioning using environmental and spatial variables, indicated that all three biological groups were spatially structured. The inclusion of fish, however, reduced the importance attributed to space in the case of both cladocerans and macrophytes, suggesting that space effects for these two groups were at least partly the result of a spatially structured predator (i.e.fish). In most cases fish did not have an effect on cladoceran and water beetle alpha diversity (number of species, Shannon's and Simpson's index), although the opposite was true for macrophytes. Nevertheless, at the landscape level, gamma diversity (i.e.total number of species) was enhanced for all three biological groups. Our results suggest that fish, at least small, typical, pond-associated species, are an important component of heterogeneity in farmland pond networks, thereby increasing landscape-scale diversity across several faunal and floral elements. Consequently, we propose that fish should be more fully included in future pond biodiversity surveys and conservation strategies.
1863-9135
141-156
Stefanoudis, Paris V.
67acb3d4-a5a6-4146-a8fc-3c4f373d3ed4
Sayer, Carl D.
4657e04d-23b0-469a-9f19-28e729d35db3
Greaves, Helen M.
68847195-02f6-4862-adf5-2ec5c7549c97
Davidson, Thomas A.
3d414432-f638-4102-8a31-affb9da049ec
Robson, Hannah
91cd7bb9-3f3f-4ec2-ba3c-8345206c1d95
Almeida, David
56e581a8-d868-44a6-b111-29a3dbc35170
Smith, Elizabeth
bcd681c5-efb3-4e6a-8231-0ca5688aa7d0
Stefanoudis, Paris V.
67acb3d4-a5a6-4146-a8fc-3c4f373d3ed4
Sayer, Carl D.
4657e04d-23b0-469a-9f19-28e729d35db3
Greaves, Helen M.
68847195-02f6-4862-adf5-2ec5c7549c97
Davidson, Thomas A.
3d414432-f638-4102-8a31-affb9da049ec
Robson, Hannah
91cd7bb9-3f3f-4ec2-ba3c-8345206c1d95
Almeida, David
56e581a8-d868-44a6-b111-29a3dbc35170
Smith, Elizabeth
bcd681c5-efb3-4e6a-8231-0ca5688aa7d0

Stefanoudis, Paris V., Sayer, Carl D., Greaves, Helen M., Davidson, Thomas A., Robson, Hannah, Almeida, David and Smith, Elizabeth (2017) Consequences of fish for cladoceran, water beetle and macrophyte communities in a farmland pond landscape: implications for conservation. Fundamental and Applied Limnology / Archiv für Hydrobiologie, 190 (2), 141-156. (doi:10.1127/fal/2017/1004).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Traditionally, fish have been neglected in pond ecology and conservation studies and it has frequently been assumed that they have a detrimental impact on pond biodiversity and ecosystem function. In order to assess the consequences of fish for pond biodiversity and ecosystem structure we sampled a set of 40 small farmland ponds (20 with and 20 without fish) in eastern England and compared their water chemistry as well as assemblage characteristics (abundance, diversity, species composition) for three biological groups: cladocerans (zooplankton), water beetles and macrophytes. Water depth was significantly greater in fish ponds, while pond bottom oxygen levels and pH were significantly higher in the ponds without fish. The presence of fish significantly reduced the abundance of macrophytes and altered the community composition of cladocerans and macrophytes, but had no detectable influence on water beetles. Variation partitioning using environmental and spatial variables, indicated that all three biological groups were spatially structured. The inclusion of fish, however, reduced the importance attributed to space in the case of both cladocerans and macrophytes, suggesting that space effects for these two groups were at least partly the result of a spatially structured predator (i.e.fish). In most cases fish did not have an effect on cladoceran and water beetle alpha diversity (number of species, Shannon's and Simpson's index), although the opposite was true for macrophytes. Nevertheless, at the landscape level, gamma diversity (i.e.total number of species) was enhanced for all three biological groups. Our results suggest that fish, at least small, typical, pond-associated species, are an important component of heterogeneity in farmland pond networks, thereby increasing landscape-scale diversity across several faunal and floral elements. Consequently, we propose that fish should be more fully included in future pond biodiversity surveys and conservation strategies.

This record has no associated files available for download.

More information

Published date: 29 June 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 413642
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/413642
ISSN: 1863-9135
PURE UUID: 5dc73656-ae28-4987-a832-1d5ff53fa8d6

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 31 Aug 2017 16:31
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 04:24

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Paris V. Stefanoudis
Author: Carl D. Sayer
Author: Helen M. Greaves
Author: Thomas A. Davidson
Author: Hannah Robson
Author: David Almeida
Author: Elizabeth Smith

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×