Spatial and temporal patterns of pioneer macrofauna in recently created ponds: taxonomic and functional approaches
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Man-made ponds are often created to compensate for the loss and degradation of wetlands, but little is known about the processes taking place in these artificial environments, especially at a community level. The macrofaunal assemblage and water chemistry of newly created ponds in three nearby areas in the NE Iberian Peninsula were studied during the first year of life of these ponds in order to (i) detect if any invertebrate assemblage structure change was taking place, (ii) evaluate the effect of local factors on the invertebrate assemblage in each site, and (iii) compare the information obtained by taxonomic and functional approaches. Although invertebrate colonization was rapid, no relevant changes in assemblage parameters were related to time, implying that more time may be needed to detect successional changes in invertebrate assemblages. Local factors—especially those related to hydrological stability—produced notable differences both in the assemblage parameters and in the taxonomic and functional compositions of the invertebrate fauna. Finally, information provided by the functional approach was redundant with respect to that obtained by the classical taxonomic approach: in these newly created systems, the high dominance of a small number of taxa makes the functional approach a simple biological traits analysis of the few dominant species.
KeywordsMediterranean ponds Succession Colonization Assemblage structure Functional approach Hydrological stability
This study was supported by a Ph.D. grant and a Scientific Research grant (CGL2008 05778/BOS) from the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología of the Spanish Government. Also, the authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for valuable comments, Dawn Egan for the English revision, and the following field collaborators for their help: Francesc Canet, Jordi Compte, Cristina Conchillo, Helena Dehesa, Núria Pla, Martí Queralt, and Maria Mercè Vidal.
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