State of Knowledge Report: Aquatic Coleoptera assemblages in the Irish farmed landscape. The significance of ponds

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Resource or Project Abstract

The aim of this research project is to provide data on freshwater biodiversity of ponds in the Irish agricultural landscape and to identify the principal drivers of patterns in pond biodiversity. Freshwater biodiversity is one of the major components of global biodiversity, yet is rapidly decreasing because of the degradation and destruction of freshwater systems, and their unsustainable use. The protection of freshwater biodiversity is the principal conservation priority during the 2005-2015 International Decade for Action "Water for Life". The compliance with a number of international environmental legislations urgently requires Information on biodiversity in freshwater habitats and on its main drivers.
This project focuses on the biodiversity value of ponds in the agricultural landscape, using aquatic beetles (Coleoptera) and wetland plants as indicators of pond ecological quality and anthropogenic disturbance. Specifically, this project aims to collect baseline data on the biodiversity value of farmland ponds and to identify the factors that contribute most to patterns in pond biodiversity. Predictive models will be developed to identify and predict the relationship between the structure of aquatic beetle assemblages and management practices (land use and grazing), physico-chemical variables and habitat characteristics, including the structure of wetland plant assemblages.

the majority of farmers and landowners showed a positive attitude towards the need to conserve and enhance freshwater biodiversity. Particularly in the areas of Mullingar (Co. Westmeath) and Maynooth (co. Kildare), farmers were interested in receiving suggestions on how to improve the ecological value of their ponds.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Margherita Gioria
University College Dublin

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Att: 1    STRIVE_Goria_Ponds_SOK.pdf  (0.39 Mb)
Att 2    Gioria-EMAPI-05-preprint.pdf   (2.0 Mb)
Att 3    Gioria-ENVIRON-2005-preprint.pdf   (0.09 Mb)
Att 4    Gioria-Biol-Invasions-09-preprint.pdf   (0.25 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Gioria, M.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationState of Knowledge Report: Aquatic Coleoptera assemblages in the Irish farmed landscape. The significance of ponds
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifier484d178d-03c1-102d-8e25-e9973852f3cf
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-07-23

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Gioria, M.   "State of Knowledge Report: Aquatic Coleoptera assemblages in the Irish farmed landscape. The significance of ponds". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-07-23)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource Keywordsfreshwater,biodiversity, ponds,Aquatic Coleoptera, Aquatic plants, Biodiversity, Invasive alien species, Nitrogen, Nonpoint source of pollution, Phosphorus, Agricultural landscape, Nitrates Directive, Habitats Directive
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2007-FS-B-14-S5
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeWater Quality
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceAttachments (if any) connected to this resource can be used in journal article or other means of publication provided the original authors are informed of this usage and an appropriate acknowledgement or citation is included within the published article. The EPA advise that this acknowledgement should take one of the following forms dependent upon how heavily the published work relates to the downloaded report: * Co-Authorship(s) for the original author(s)* Written acknowledgement within the body of the article* Written acknowledgement by means of the inclusion of a bibliography entry which clearly cites the original authors. The EPA as a/the primary funder of the research should be acknowledged.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 4
Project Start Date Monday 1st October 2007 (01-10-2007)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 1st October 2007 (01-10-2007)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Tuesday 5th May 2009 (05-05-2009)
Published on SAFERTuesday 6th October 2009 (06-10-2009)
Date of Last EditMonday 1st February 2010 at 10:13:38 (01-02-2010)
Datasets or Files Updated On Tuesday 6th October 2009 at 13:56:36 (06-10-2009)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
To date, the aquatic beetle and wetland plant assemblages of 54 farmland ponds were assessed. Of these ponds, 25 were located in southeastern Co. Wexford, 6 in Maynooth (Co. Kildare), and 23 in Mullingar (Co. Westmeath). A number of physico-chemical characteristics of those ponds, as well as information on land-use, grazing intensity, and management practices have been measured. Nearly half of the ponds were directly grazed by cattle, whilst the remaining ponds were either characterized by the presence of an electric fence system or by a buffer zone of grassland or woody vegetation. Water quality was poor in grazed ponds and fenced ponds where there was no vegetation to prevent runoff and nutrient enrichment. All the ponds were rather homogeneous in terms of pH, being either neutral or slightly alkaline.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
The knowledge generated by this project will improve our understanding of the role of ponds in the maintenance of freshwater biodiversity at the local, regional, and national level. Altogether, this study will improve the field of pond ecology, by developing models aimed at testing and predicting the relationship between aquatic beetle diversity and management practices. The results of this project will be used to develop guidelines aimed at maximizing the potential for ponds to maintain freshwater biodiversity.
Supplementary Information
Please note that the publication attached is a State of Knowledge Report.

There are a number of related reports/journal papers produced by Dr. Margherita Gioria. The bibliography of these are outlined as follows:

Gioria, M. & Osborne, B. (in press). Similarities in the impact of three large invasive plant species on soil seed bank communities. Biological Invasions, doi:10.1007/s10530-009-9580-7.

Gioria, M. & Osborne, B. (2009) The impact of Gunnera tinctoria Molina (Mirbel) on soil seed bank communities. Journal of Plant Ecology, 2:153-167. Available from:

Gioria, M. & Osborne, B. (2009) Assessing the impact of plant invasions on soil seed bank communities: use of univariate and multivariate statistical approaches. Journal of Vegetation Science, 20: 547-55. Available from:

Gioria, M. & Osborne, B. (2008) Soil seed banks associated with two invasive species, Gunnera tinctoria and Heracleum mantegazzianum. In: B. Tokarska-Guzik, J. Brock, G. Brundu, L. Child, C. Daehler & P. Pysek (eds.). Plant Invasions: human perception, ecological impacts and management, pp. 217-233. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands

Gioria, M. & Osborne, B. (2006) The soil seed bank associated with invasive populations of Heracleum mantegazzianum Sommier & Levier. Proceedings of the 15th Irish Environmental Researchers' Colloquium. Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland, pp. 13-17
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