Scientific article
Open access

Does size matter? The relationship between pond area and biodiversity

Published inBiological conservation, vol. 104, no. 1, p. 59-70
Publication date2002

Larger areas support more species. To test the application of this biogeographic principle to ponds, we consider the relationship between size and diversity for 80 ponds in Switzerland, using richness (number of species) and conservation value (score for all species present, according to their degree of rarity) of aquatic plants, molluscs (Gastropoda, Sphaeriidae), Coleoptera, Odonata (adults) and Amphibia. Pond size was found to be important only for Odonata and explained 31% of the variability of their species richness. Pond size showed only a feeble relationship with the species richness of all other groups, particularly the Coleoptera and Amphibia. The weakness of this relationship was also indicated by the low z-values obtained (< 0.13). The SLOSS analyses showed that a set of ponds of small size has more species and has a higher conservation value than a single large pond of the same total area. But we also show that large ponds harbour species missing in the smaller ponds. Finally, we conclude that in a global con- servation policy (protection, restoration, management), all size ranges of ponds should be promoted.

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Species richness
  • Aquatic plants
  • Gastropoda
  • Coleoptera
  • Odonata
  • Amphibia
  • Autre - Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape
Citation (ISO format)
OERTLI, Beat et al. Does size matter? The relationship between pond area and biodiversity. In: Biological conservation, 2002, vol. 104, n° 1, p. 59–70. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3207(01)00154-9
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0006-3207

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