Prof. Nigel Willby, University of Stirling, UK
The scale of decline in freshwater megafauna mirrors the dwindling fortunes of freshwater taxa more generally and may indeed have precipitated our current crisis. Might resurrecting populations of megafauna therefore help to reverse the general situation, and are ponds the place to do this? I’ll discuss, using examples from beavers to cows, why mess matters, and the role of big biota in small water body dynamics.
Dr Marlene Pätzig, Post-doctoral researcher, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, Germany
High-resolution remote sensing for pond research and monitoring
Natural ponds are highly variable in space and time and can be scattered across the landscape in large numbers. High-resolution remote sensing seems to be a promising approach to perform cost and time efficient research and monitoring of these valuable ecosystems. My plenary talk will give an insight into the advantages of high-resolution remote sensing and present example applications of this.
Prof. Beat Oertli, HEPIA, CH
Urban ponds and their multiple ecosystem services: is biodiversity forgotten?
The density of ponds is often high in the urban matrix. These artificial waterbodies were created for their landscape value (parks, gardens), for their potential to reduce the risk of flooding, for their capacity to purify water, for their offer of leisure activities, or for their contribution to well-being of walkers (microclimate, contact with nature). Their supply of habitats for biodiversity often takes a back seat. However, appropriate, inexpensive management would easily make it possible to increase biodiversity, for the benefit of citizens.
Dr Jeremy Biggs (Director of the Freshwater Habitats Trust, UK)
How ponds can help us stop and reverse the decline of freshwater biodiversity?
Several lines of evidence suggest that ponds may have a special role to play in stopping and reversing the general decline of freshwater biodiversity. This is due to their disproportionate richness, wide distribution and ability to respond positively to management interventions. I will discuss how protecting the best ponds and creating new high quality ponds can help to reverse long-term biodiversity declines with a focus on projects led by the Freshwater Habitats Trust.