EPCN - Projects

Applied or Research Projects

Projects developped by members of the EPCN




On-going projects

We present here a selection of on-going projects conducted by members of the EPCN.
We welcome your new inputs!

  • The BIOPOND project ("Biodiversity of small water biotopes: parallel, intersecting or skew?") (Slovakia). The main objective of the is the investigation of the diversity of macrophytes and important groups of invertebrates (Odonata, Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera, Coleoptera, Heteroptera and Diptera) of various types of ponds in Slovakia, such as natural, oxbow lakes, terrain depressions or anthropogenic water reservoirs. An important added value of the research is a direct output for practical conservation purposes. Identifying the environmental conditions that provide high diversity together with defining of indicator groups that reflect the diversity in a realistic way, are essential steps for practical conservation actions in order to maintain these extremely valuable biotopes. Link

  • "Monitoring of the water-table in the temporary ponds of the Doñana Biological Reserve (Southern Spain)". It started in October 1989 as a 4-year study with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Public Works in partnership with the Guadalquivir River Basin Authority and the Universities of Sevilla and Granada. The project has now become a long-term monitoring study (1989-present) of 5 ponds on a monthly basis and has been supported by other institutions, particularly the Doñana Biological Station (Spanish Research Council). Link 1 / Link 2.
  • Assessment of biodiversity in urban ponds (Geneva, Switzerland). 2012-2014.
    This project conducted by hepia (University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) is supported in particular by the Federal Office for Environment and the Canton of Geneva. It aims at:
    (i) the identification of species linked to urban habitats (threatened species, umbrella species, exotic species, unwanted species),
    (ii) the description of the pond network, highlighting their connectivity,
    (iii) the production of a "best-practice" manual, for enhencing the quality of urban ponds.
  • "Vascular plants, bryophytes and aquatic fauna of Sardinian temporary ponds: biodiversity, ecology and conservation". The project is leaded by the University of Sassari (Dipartimento di Scienze Botaniche, Ecologiche e Geologiche) (Italy). The four objectives are:
    (i) determine taxonomic and functional diversity of vascular plants, bryophytes and fauna at regional level.
    (ii) study the spatio-temporal variability of the pond characteristics and the biodiversity and to identify the main environmental factors that explain it.
    (iii) analyse the seed bank as a reserve of plant biodiversity.
    (iv) increase the knowledge about the biodiversity of temporary ponds at regional level and in a wider level, at Mediterranean hotspot level, in order to improve the efficiency in the conservation strategies

  • "Assessment of the system of temporary ponds in the Doñana National Park for the management and conservation of singular priority aquatic habitats (Southern Spain)" (2011-2014). This  system includes more than 3000 ponds with a dry phase of variable length and a singular flora and fauna (Habitat 3170: Mediterranean Temporary Ponds, EU Habitats Directive). This 4-year project is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Environment and aims at providing an inventory with precise information on community and system dynamics to improve conservation management. Link 1 / Link 2.

  • "Environmental key factors affecting food web structure and biomass size spectra in Mediterranean ponds". This project conducted by the Institute of Aquatic Ecology (University of Girona) aims to study the structure of food webs analysing key aspects of the available scenarios, using Mediterranean ponds as model systems. Thus, we will study natural communities within a range of system sizes, connectivity and time of origin. Patterns between food chains length, the structure of the entire food web, biomass size
    spectra and the included gradients will be analysed.

  • Diatom based tools for the assessment of temporary and permanent pond condition in the Mpumalanga Highveld region, South Africa. The project, conducted by the University of Pretoria, aims to investigate how changing environmental conditions, natural and human-induced stresses, and temporal and spatial heterogeneity affect the organisation and functioning of diatoms in ponds in South Africa. The goal is to develop a Diatom Index of Wetland Condition which will contribute to our understanding of the function of these systems on a regional and national level, and can complement international hydrobiological pond studies where temporary waterbodies are highly vulnerable to hydrological disturbances.

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Past project

 The "Pro-Pond" project (2007-2010):

"Promoting pond conservation in Europe and the Mediterranean region" Further information.

Seven actions :

  • Production of a "Pond Manifesto"
  • Setting up of a preliminary typologie of Ponds of Europe
  • Importants Areas for Ponds: IAPs
  • A workshop on "Pond management success stories"
  • A workshop on " Linking pond management to scientific knowledge"
  • An advanced Training Course on Pond Conservation and Management for stakeholders
  • The production of Newsletters (2 x / year)

The Pro-Pond project was supported by the MAVA foundation .