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Farm Ponds and Integrated Constructed Wetlands (ICWs): A Case Study in Ireland (pp. 129-149) $100.00
Authors:  (Gustavo Becerra-Jurado,Mary Kelly Quinn,Freshwater Biodiversity, Ecology and Fisheries (FreBEF), School of Biology and Environmental Science, Science Education and Research Centre West, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)
Abstract:
The value of biodiversity is enormous. Many cultures have recognized the importance biological diversity has and the need to conserve it. Yet, nature is often mismanaged and the number of species is constantly decreasing from different habitats and world regions. Regarding the freshwater habitat, the protection of water quality and the conservation of its biodiversity have also become issues of great concern across the globe. In the European Union, the Water Framework Directive (WFD) was created to address these issues setting minimum standards for all country members. Although conventional management strategies dealing with these issues have historically recognized the links between water quality and the conservation of freshwater biodiversity, seldom have they been fully adopted in the landscape using an integrated catchment approach that combines multiple goals. Integrated Constructed Wetlands (ICWs) constitute an alternative option to cleanse water in agricultural areas. These systems are formed by interconnected ponds that are planted with emergent plants and in which the water depth is controlled. ICWs are designed to integrate their water treatment capabilities with other functions such as biodiversity enhancement, carbon sequestration and landscape fit, by virtue of mimicking natural wetlands. In particular, the potential of ICWs to enhance macroinvertebrate diversity in agricultural areas has shown to be remarkable due to its unique design flexibility. The habitats present in ICWs have the potential to support a high number of macroinvertebrate species and, therefore, could provide an ancillary benefit along with its pollution removal properties, carbon sequestration and landscape fit. Some studies have shown that the biodiversity of ponds is among the highest of all freshwater habitats at the landscape level, and findings suggest that ponds support a high proportion of the regional biodiversity. What is more, a percentage of species is considered to be “endemic” to ponds. Unfortunately, this type of habitat has historically received little attention or protection. Apart from the information
given in a limited number of studies such as Spieles and Mitsch (2000) on high- and low-nutrient constructed wetlands and Stewart and Downing (2008) on macroinvertebrate communities in recently constructed wetlands, there is a paucity of knowledge about the extent to which constructed wetlands, including ICWs, can mimic natural ponds in terms of their macroinvertebrate diversity potential. The present chapter addresses this knowledge gap by presenting recent findings on the potential of ICWs to enhance macroinvertebrate diversity and by reviewing the full potential of these systems in the context of agricultural landscapes. This chapter is divided into the following sections: 


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Farm Ponds and Integrated Constructed Wetlands (ICWs): A Case Study in Ireland (pp. 129-149)