Alpine pond biodiversity: what are the related environmental variables?



  • 1.The aim of this study was to identify the environmental variables correlated with biodiversity in alpine ponds.
  • 2.Twenty alpine ponds in Switzerland were chosen to examine the relationship between the species (or family) richness of five biological groups and a selection of eight environmental variables.
  • 3.Altitude, pH, conductivity, macrophyte presence, fish presence and trophic state, showed significant relationships with the diversity of at least one biological group. On the other hand, pond area and depth demonstrated no significant correlations with biodiversity.
  • 4.Most highlighted relationships between biodiversity and environmental variables were different from those seen in lowland ponds, reflecting the distinctive nature of alpine water bodies. The results of the study suggest that there is a need to establish specific biodiversity evaluation tools for alpine ponds, which differ from those already used for lowland ponds.

Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.