Ann. Limnol. - Int. J. Lim.
Volume 45, Number 4, 2009
|Page(s)||257 - 266|
|Published online||14 December 2009|
Colonisation by midges (Chironomidae, Diptera) of recently-created shallow ponds: implications for the restoration of lacustrine fringing wetlands
Musée cantonal de Zoologie, Place de la Riponne 6, CP, 1014 Lausanne, Switzerland
2 Laboratoire d'écologie et de biologie aquatique, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 26 October 2009
As part of a wetland conservation programme for the Southern shore of lake Neuchatel (Western Switzerland), an experiment was started in 1993 to slow down the terrestrialization of the wetland. Sediments were removed in a reed-belt adjacent to an existing pond, at three different depths (0.20, 0.30 and 0.40 m), thus creating a new shallow pond. The colonisation by aquatic vegetation and invertebrates was monitored during three years (1994–1996) to evaluate the effect of the creation of a new pond on the chironomid diversity and abundance through time. Chironomids (78 taxa) were among the most diverse group colonising this fringing wetland. Significant differences in abundance were found between the reed-belt and the pond habitats (existing and recently created ponds). As expected, the latter was more productive, especially during the first two years of colonization. However, the chironomid diversity in the newly created pond, measured by the rarefied richness, was intermediate between the reed-belt (low diversity) and the pre-existing pond. Ordination of the sites on the basis of their chironomid assemblages confirmed this trend. The depth at which the sediment was scrapped off, had no major influence upon the chironomid assemblages. Finally, within the three years after creation of open water habitats, the production of chironomids and consequently their availability for dabbling ducks and wetland birds, were enhanced. However, this time was not enough for the chironomid community to reach the diversity of the pre-existing pond, to which it is connected. The creation of shallow ponds seemed to be crucial to slow down terrestrialization processes in this lacustrine wetland and to have only slight effects on the chironomid communities.
Key words: Fringing wetland / pond / colonisation / wetland management / Switzerland
© EDP Sciences, 2009
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