Pond ecology and conservation: research priorities and knowledge gaps

Hill, Matthew J., Greaves, Helen M., Sayer, Carl, Hassall, Christopher, Milin, Melanie, Milner, Victoria S., Marazzi, Luca, Hall, Ruth, Harper, Lynsey R., Thornhill, Ian, Walton, Richard, Biggs, Jeremy, Ewald, Naomi, Law, Alan, Willby, Nigel, White, James C., Briers, Robert A., Mathers, Kate L., Jeffries, Michael J. and Wood, Paul J. (2021) Pond ecology and conservation: research priorities and knowledge gaps. Ecosphere, 12 (12). e03853. ISSN 2150-8925

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.3853


Ponds are amongst the most biodiverse and ecologically important freshwater habitats globally and may provide a significant opportunity to mitigate anthropogenic pressures and reverse the decline of aquatic biodiversity. Ponds also provide important contributions to society through the provision of ecosystem services. Despite the ecological and societal importance of ponds, freshwater research, policy and conservation have historically focussed on larger waterbodies, with significant gaps remaining in our understanding and conservation of pond ecosystems. In May 2019, pond researchers and practitioners participated in a workshop to tackle several pond ecology, conservation and management issues. Nine research themes and 30 research questions were identified during and following the workshop to address knowledge gaps around: (i) pond habitat definition; (ii) global and long-term data availability; (iii) anthropogenic stressors; (iv) pond monitoring and technological advances; (v) aquatic-terrestrial interactions; (vi) succession and disturbance; (vii) freshwater connectivity; (viii) socio-economic factors; and (ix) conservation, management and policy. Key areas for the future inclusion of ponds in environmental and conservation policy were also discussed. Addressing gaps in our fundamental understanding of pond ecosystems will facilitate more effective research-led conservation and management of pondscapes, their inclusion in environmental policy, the provision of ecosystem services, and help address many of the global threats driving the decline in freshwater biodiversity

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of The British Ecological Society for funding and supporting the workshop. MJH would also like to thank to the University of Huddersfield for supporting the workshop. The authors would like to thank the reviewers of the draft manuscript for their valuable comments and input which have greatly improved this publication.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aquatic-terrestrial linkages, biodiversity, connectivity, ecosystem services, management, policy, small lentic waterbodies
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2021 10:33
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2022 15:30
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/46856

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