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Title: Ecological characteristic's of small farmland ponds: Associations with land use practices at multiple spatial scales
Authors: Declerck, Steven ×
De Bie, Thomas
Ercken, Dirk
Hampel, Henrietta
Schrijvers, Sofie
Van Wichelen, Jeroen
Gillard, Virginie
Mandiki, Robert
Losson, Bertrand
Bauwens, Dirk
Keijers, Stijn
Vyverman, Wim
Goddeeris, Boudewijn
De Meester, Luc
Brendonck, Luc
Martens, Koen #
Issue Date: Sep-2006
Publisher: Elsevier sci ltd
Series Title: Biological Conservation vol:131 pages:523-532
Abstract: Despite their restricted surface area, small farmland ponds often have a high conservation value because they contribute significantly to regional biodiversity and contain rare or unique species. For this reason, the creation of new ponds has become a widely applied practice in many countries. information on the effects of land use on farmland ponds is very scarce. Farmland ponds differ from larger ponds, lakes and livers in many aspects and can therefore be expected to be affected by land use via other mechanisms operating at different spatial scales. We here present a study on 126 ponds distributed over the entire territory of Belgium (surface area: 30.500 km(2)). We assessed variables related to turbidity state and vegetation complexity and related them to land use variables assessed at several spatial scales ranging from the pond edge up to 32 km(2) circular areas. According to redundancy analysis, trampling by cattle and percentage cover of nearby crop land were positively associated with turbid state related variables. Conversely, ponds with high coverage by forest in the immediate neighbourhood tended to be more associated with the clear water state. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated a negative effect of trampling and coverage by crop land on vegetation complexity. Effects of crop lands and forest were strongest at the local scale (< 200 m radius) which indicates that adverse external influences can most efficiently be mitigated at a small scale. Based on these results we suggest several recommendations for pond construction and conservation. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
URI: 
ISSN: 0006-3207
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation Section
Division Forest, Nature and Landscape Research
Laboratory for Aquatic Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (-)
University Sports Centre
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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