Ongoing Applied or Research Projects

Here is a selection of ongoing projects conducted by members of the EPCN.

Charcas con Vida (Ponds with Life) (Spain)

This project seeks to promote the values of  local small ponds through environmental education, volunteering, and land watching activities. It is an initiative developed by ADEGA (an environmental association of Galicia), in collaboration with the Portuguese research centre CIBIO and supported by the Spanish goverment (Fundación Biodiversidad).  Find out more about this project on the Charcas con Vida website.

The BIOPOND project (“Biodiversity of small water biotopes: parallel, intersecting or skew?”) (Slovakia).

The main objective of the is the investigation of the diversity of macrophytes and important groups of invertebrates (Odonata, Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera, Coleoptera, Heteroptera and Diptera) of various types of ponds in Slovakia, such as natural, oxbow lakes, terrain depressions or anthropogenic water reservoirs. An important added value of the research is a direct output for practical conservation purposes. Identifying the environmental conditions that provide high diversity together with defining of indicator groups that reflect the diversity in a realistic way, are essential steps for practical conservation actions in order to maintain these extremely valuable biotopes. Link

Monitoring of the water-table in the temporary ponds of the Doñana Biological Reserve (Southern Spain)

It started in October 1989 as a 4-year study with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Public Works in partnership with the Guadalquivir River Basin Authority and the Universities of Sevilla and Granada. The project has now become a long-term monitoring study (1989-present) of 5 ponds on a monthly basis and has been supported by other institutions, particularly the Doñana Biological Station (Spanish Research Council) . Link

Assessment of biodiversity in urban ponds (Geneva, Switzerland) 2012-2014

This project conducted by hepia (University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) is supported in particular by the Federal Office for Environment and the Canton of Geneva. It aims at:
(i) the identification of species linked to urban habitats (threatened species, umbrella species, exotic species, unwanted species),
(ii) the description of the pond network, highlighting their connectivity,
(iii) the production of a “best-practice” manual, for enhancing the quality of urban ponds. Link

Vascular plants, bryophytes and aquatic fauna of Sardinian temporary ponds: biodiversity, ecology and conservation

The project is leaded by the University of Sassari (Dipartimento di Scienze Botaniche, Ecologiche e Geologiche) (Italy). The four objectives are:
(i) determine taxonomic and functional diversity of vascular plants, bryophytes and fauna at regional level.
(ii) study the spatio-temporal variability of the pond characteristics and the biodiversity and to identify the main environmental factors that explain it.
(iii) analyse the seed bank as a reserve of plant biodiversity.
(iv) increase the knowledge about the biodiversity of temporary ponds at regional level and in a wider level, at Mediterranean hotspot level, in order to improve the efficiency in the conservation strategies

Assessment of the system of temporary ponds in the Doñana National Park for the management and conservation of singular priority aquatic habitats (Southern Spain) (2011-2014)

This system includes more than 3000 ponds with a dry phase of variable length and a singular flora and fauna (Habitat 3170: Mediterranean Temporary Ponds, EU Habitats Directive). This 4-year project is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Environment and aims at providing an inventory with precise information on community and system dynamics to improve conservation management. Link 1 / Link 2

Environmental key factors affecting food web structure and biomass size spectra in Mediterranean ponds

This project conducted by the Institute of Aquatic Ecology (University of Girona) aims to study the structure of food webs analysing key aspects of the available scenarios, using Mediterranean ponds as model systems. Thus, we will study natural communities within a range of system sizes, connectivity and time of origin. Patterns between food chains length, the structure of the entire food web, biomass size
spectra and the included gradients will be analysed.

Do you want you project listed here?

Please send details of your projects, with a brief description in English and any links, to the EPCN secretary.