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Macroinvertebrate communities along a land-use gradient in Scania

Zülsdorff, Valentina (2015) BION35 20141
Degree Projects in Biology
Popular Abstract
Life in a farm pond

Agriculture is needed to sustain the growth of the human population, but at the same time it can influence the surrounding nature negatively. In Sweden many wetlands have been drained to gain more space for agricultural land and to increase productivity. Run-off from the fields, like the excess of fertilizer but also pesticides, can end up in lakes, streams and also the Baltic Sea. This can cause toxic algal blooms and so-called “dead zones”, where fish and other organisms are unable to live.
Now it is a common practice to introduce ponds in the landscape, not only because they make the landscape a beautiful mosaic rather than monotone land, but also because they bring some other advantages. In Scania, a region in... (More)
Life in a farm pond

Agriculture is needed to sustain the growth of the human population, but at the same time it can influence the surrounding nature negatively. In Sweden many wetlands have been drained to gain more space for agricultural land and to increase productivity. Run-off from the fields, like the excess of fertilizer but also pesticides, can end up in lakes, streams and also the Baltic Sea. This can cause toxic algal blooms and so-called “dead zones”, where fish and other organisms are unable to live.
Now it is a common practice to introduce ponds in the landscape, not only because they make the landscape a beautiful mosaic rather than monotone land, but also because they bring some other advantages. In Scania, a region in Southern Sweden, several hundred ponds have been constructed to trap nutrients from agricultural run-off. Eleven of these ponds were studied to characterize them in terms of biodiversity of macroinvertebrates. Moreover, fish, water chemistry, algae and macrophytes were included in this study. Ponds can offer a home for many different aquatic organisms, for example dragon flies and snails, but also amphibians. Some of the inhabitants of ponds can act as biological pest control, feeding on crop pests, bringing another advantage. All these services from the pond are called ecosystem services, meaning they are contributing to human life. The more intensive agriculture surrounding the ponds, the fewer organisms were found to be living in the ponds, showing that there is a negative effect from agriculture on the life in the pond. In ponds where fish were present the pond community changed as well – having fewer macroinvertebrates but also a higher risk for algal blooms through indirect effects. This means that we have to better protect ponds and improve the conditions, that ponds can fulfil their purpose of cleaning water but also form a home for biodiversity.

Supervisor: Rebecca Stewart
Master´s Degree Project in Aquatic Ecology, 45 credits
Department of Biology, Lund University (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Zülsdorff, Valentina
supervisor
organization
course
BION35 20141
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
language
English
id
5050346
date added to LUP
2015-02-16 14:02:57
date last changed
2015-02-16 14:02:57
@misc{5050346,
  author       = {Zülsdorff, Valentina},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Macroinvertebrate communities along a land-use gradient in Scania},
  year         = {2015},
}