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Effects of Pond Draining on Biodiversity and Water Quality of Farm Ponds

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Abstract

Farm ponds have high conservation value because they contribute significantly to regional biodiversity and ecosystem services. In Japan pond draining is a traditional management method that is widely believed to improve water quality and eradicate invasive fish. In addition, fishing by means of pond draining has significant cultural value for local people, serving as a social event. However, there is a widespread belief that pond draining reduces freshwater biodiversity through the extirpation of aquatic animals, but scientific evaluation of the effectiveness of pond draining is lacking. We conducted a large‐scale field study to evaluate the effects of pond draining on invasive animal control, water quality, and aquatic biodiversity relative to different pond‐management practices, pond physicochemistry, and surrounding land use. The results of boosted regression‐tree models and analyses of similarity showed that pond draining had little effect on invasive fish control, water quality, or aquatic biodiversity. Draining even facilitated the colonization of farm ponds by invasive red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), which in turn may have detrimental effects on the biodiversity and water quality of farm ponds. Our results highlight the need for reconsidering current pond management and developing management plans with respect to multifunctionality of such ponds.

Efectos del Drenado de Estanques sobre la Biodiversidad y la Calidad del Agua en Estanques de Cultivo
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Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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