Ponds and pools as model systems in conservation biology, ecology and evolutionary biology

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Abstract

  • 1.Ponds and pools, broadly defined in this paper to include all small and shallow standing waters that permanently or temporarily contain water, are numerous, diverse and important from a conservation point of view. We here argue that ponds and pools offer powerful potential for studies in ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology.
  • 2.An outline is given of the characteristics of pools and ponds that make them good model systems for large-scale surveys and hypothesis testing through experimental manipulation. Such studies will not only increase understanding of community and genetic structure, as well as of patterns of biodiversity, in small aquatic habitats themselves, but may also contribute significantly to testing general theory.
  • 3.These merits are illustrated by the recent progress on the understanding of the relative importance of local versus regional factors in structuring populations and communities, as well as of the impact of hydroperiod on community and ecosystem functioning.

Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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