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Effects of small fish on agricultural land ponds in southern Sweden along the spring-summer season

Jáuregui Espinosa, Mariana (2016) BIOP01 20152
Degree Projects in Biology
Abstract
Ponds are important aquatic ecosystems despite their small size. They provide the same ecosystem services and benefits than bigger waterbodies. Here I compared 18 ponds from southern Sweden to see what effect fish presence has. To establish this, the macroinvertebrates community was studied. The results show that there is a possible effect of fish size in the abundance and diversity of this communities. Nevertheless the difference was not significant between fish and fishless ponds. The biomass of the functional feeding groups was also studied, showing that fish have a more effect on predators. This study agrees with previous studies on the impact of agricultural land use, pH and size of ponds on the distribution of macroinvertebrate... (More)
Ponds are important aquatic ecosystems despite their small size. They provide the same ecosystem services and benefits than bigger waterbodies. Here I compared 18 ponds from southern Sweden to see what effect fish presence has. To establish this, the macroinvertebrates community was studied. The results show that there is a possible effect of fish size in the abundance and diversity of this communities. Nevertheless the difference was not significant between fish and fishless ponds. The biomass of the functional feeding groups was also studied, showing that fish have a more effect on predators. This study agrees with previous studies on the impact of agricultural land use, pH and size of ponds on the distribution of macroinvertebrate community. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Ponds are small water bodies that can be either permanent or seasonal, manmade or natural. They also provide ecosystem services. These ecosystems services are the benefits that society obtain from the functioning of the ecosystems. Some examples of benefits that we can obtain from ponds are nutrient retention from the agricultural land to prevent high nutrients levels in bigger water bodies, water supply for drinking or to irrigate. They also increases biodiversity.

For this project, I sampled 18 ponds located in the Southern part of Sweden in Lomma, Lund, Eslöv and Ystad. I compared those with fish to those without fish to see what differences in abundance and biodiversity of macroinvertebrates. Macroinvertebrates are the organisms... (More)
Ponds are small water bodies that can be either permanent or seasonal, manmade or natural. They also provide ecosystem services. These ecosystems services are the benefits that society obtain from the functioning of the ecosystems. Some examples of benefits that we can obtain from ponds are nutrient retention from the agricultural land to prevent high nutrients levels in bigger water bodies, water supply for drinking or to irrigate. They also increases biodiversity.

For this project, I sampled 18 ponds located in the Southern part of Sweden in Lomma, Lund, Eslöv and Ystad. I compared those with fish to those without fish to see what differences in abundance and biodiversity of macroinvertebrates. Macroinvertebrates are the organisms living in the ponds that are bigger than 1mm, for example, the larvae of many insects, worms or molluscs. I also used the different eating habits of the macroinvertebrates, these habits are for example predators, herbivores, filterers, etc. I used it to see if the communities were structured differently between ponds with or without fish.
For this comparison, I sampled each pond 6 times from May until September, every 2-3 weeks.
During July, I sampled the ecological variables of the pond. This included their physical properties such as the area, depth, the bottom characteristics (the type of clay or stability of the floor), how much trees was around them, proportion of aquatic plant cover, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous in the water) etc. The percentage of agricultural land that was within 500m around the pond was also estimated.

The results obtained from statistical analysis showed that there was no difference in abundance or biodiversity between ponds with or without fish. When comparing the functional feeding groups, predators where the group that was affected the most from fish presence.
The ecological variables that were considered to be more important were area of the pond, the nutrients, pH of the water, percentage of agriculture and sampling week.

Most of the ponds used in this study had small fish, of around 4cm, and therefore from the results from this study I conclude that when fish are very small they do not alter the structure or the functioning of the ponds.
Being so, another ecosystem service that ponds may provide society could be fish production. Pond could be used to produce small fish for animal food for example, without altering the correct functioning of the pond’s ecosystem.


Supervisor: Rebecca Stewart
Master´s Degree Project 60 credits, 2016
Department of Biology (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Jáuregui Espinosa, Mariana
supervisor
organization
course
BIOP01 20152
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
language
English
id
8871742
date added to LUP
2016-04-28 11:13:36
date last changed
2016-04-28 11:13:36
@misc{8871742,
  abstract     = {Ponds are important aquatic ecosystems despite their small size. They provide the same ecosystem services and benefits than bigger waterbodies. Here I compared 18 ponds from southern Sweden to see what effect fish presence has. To establish this, the macroinvertebrates community was studied. The results show that there is a possible effect of fish size in the abundance and diversity of this communities. Nevertheless the difference was not significant between fish and fishless ponds. The biomass of the functional feeding groups was also studied, showing that fish have a more effect on predators. This study agrees with previous studies on the impact of agricultural land use, pH and size of ponds on the distribution of macroinvertebrate community.},
  author       = {Jáuregui Espinosa, Mariana},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Effects of small fish on agricultural land ponds in southern Sweden along the spring-summer season},
  year         = {2016},
}