Ann. Limnol. - Int. J. Lim.
Volume 42, Number 1, March 2006
|Page(s)||33 - 41|
|Published online||15 February 2009|
Assessing the environmental status of Mediterranean temporary ponds in Greece
Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Inland Waters, 46.7 km of Athens - Sounio Av., P.O Box 712, 19013, Anavissos, Attika,
2 University of Ioannina, Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Management, 2 Seferi Str., 30100 Agrinio, Greece
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mediterranean temporary ponds (MTPs) are highly distinctive habitats with intermittent and unstable environmental conditions, inhabited by several rare and endemic plant and animal species. Temporary pond ecosystems have been classified as endangered all over the world; nevertheless, they are disappearing at a high rate, especially in the Mediterranean region. MTPs are a priority habitat under the European Union Habitats Directive and thus appropriate management and conservation efforts should be applied. Further research is needed in order to better understand the environmental characteristics and ecology of this habitat which is not always the case in many countries. In this study a range of environmental data were collected from the Greek MTP habitat sites including the altitude, the geology, the representativity, the ecological status and other biological data aiming to assess the environmental status of all known Greek MTPs. Statistical analysis were performed and thematic maps were created using a Geographical Information System (GIS). Greek MTP’s were classified according to their characteristics and habitat pressures were identified and further analysed. A comparison between the present environmental status of the MTPs in Greece with the MTPs in other Mediterranean countries was undertaken and relevant conservation and management measures were proposed. The outcome of this study was that a significant percentage of the MTP habitat sites in Greece are at risk mainly due to human activities, such as agricultural pollution, expansion of cropland and water resources over-exploitation. It was concluded that immediate restoration and conservation actions should be taken so as to prevent further ecological degradation.
Key words: Mediterranean Temporary Ponds / ecology / freshwater habitats / phytocommunities / conservation
© Université Paul Sabatier, 2006
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