Ponds have been historically neglected or dismissed in policy and science, yet these small freshwater ecosystems can host a rich biodiversity and largely contribute to human well-being by providing fundamental services (e.g. flood protection, pollution control, carbon cycling, etc.). There is now a growing interest regarding the potential of ponds and pondscapes (i.e. networks of ponds in the landscape) to be used as Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to address both biodiversity and societal challenges through the protection, creation, restoration and management of ponds. We will present several examples of NbS involving ponds and pondscapes.
The effectiveness of pondscapes as Nature-based Solutions: when pond density and diversity are key
Aurélie Boissezon, HEPIA
At the landscape scale, ponds collectively support a large part of the local and regional biodiversity and can deliver multiple Nature’s Contributions to People (NCPs) that improve human well-being. Here, I will present some of the first results from the investigation of 20 “demo-pondscapes” from the “PONDERFUL” H2020 project to highlight the ability of ponds to provide multiple benefits when considered and managed collectively at the landscape scale, as pondscapes. Firstly, I will present the integrative approach developed and used for the assessment of the effectiveness of demo-pondscapes as NbS in PONDERFUL, as well as the context (basic descriptive metrics and societal challenges targeted by local stakeholders). Secondly, the results obtained on a selection of relevant NCP indicators (biodiversity, regulating, cultural services) for each demo-pondscape will be presented and analysed to demonstrate the cumulative benefits that are provided by implementing a complementary set of ponds to tackle both biodiversity and societal issues.
Pond creation for Natural Flood Management and biodiversity: a Scottish case study
Julie Fahy, HEPIA
The increasingly important challenge posed by flood risk is sometimes addressed with Nature-based Solutions through the implementation of Natural Flood Management (NFM) measures. NFM promotes the potential of “natural features” such as wetlands, floodplains, and woodlands to help reduce the severity of floods by slowing and retaining water in the landscape while also providing habitats for biodiversity. However, the effects of NbS implementation on biodiversity are still too rarely monitored. Here, I will present the results of a case study in the Eddleston Water catchment, in the Scottish Borders, where 31 ponds were recently created as NFM measures. Their contribution to the pondscape’s freshwater biodiversity was investigated in summer 2023, using dragonflies as indicators.
16.30 - 16.35 - Welcome
16.35 - 16.55 - Presentation Aurélie Boissezon
16.55 - 17.15 - Presentation Julie Fahy
17.15 - 17.25 - Discussion