Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Local contributions to beta-diversity in urban pond networks: implications for biodiversity conservation and management

Hill, Matthew; White, James; Biggs, Jeremy; Briers, Robert; Gledhill, David; Ledger, Mark; Thornhill, Ian; Wood, Paul; Hassall, Chris


Matthew Hill

James White

Jeremy Biggs

David Gledhill

Mark Ledger

Ian Thornhill

Paul Wood

Chris Hassall


Aim: An understanding of how biotic communities are spatially organised is necessary to identify and prioritize habitats within landscape-scale biodiversity conservation. Local Contribution to Beta diversity (LCBD) identifies individual habitats that make a significant contribution to beta-diversity and may have important practical implications, particularly for conservation of habitat networks. In this study, we develop and apply a conservation prioritisation approach based on LCBD of aquatic invertebrate communities from 132 ponds.

Location: Five urban settlements in England: Halton, Loughborough, Stockport, Birmingham, Huddersfield.

Methods: We partition LCBD into richness difference (nestedness: RichDiffLCBD) and species replacement (turnover: ReplLCBD) and identify key environmental variables driving LCBD. We examine LCBD at two scales relevant to conservation planning: within urban settlements and nationally across England.

Results: Significant differences in LCBD values were recorded among the five settlements. In four of the five urban settlements studied, pond sites with the greatest LCBD values typically showed high replacement values. Significant LCBD sites, and sites with high taxonomic diversity together supported more of the regional species pool (70%-97%) than sites with high taxonomic diversity alone (54% to 94%) or what could be protected by the random selection of sites. LCBD was significantly associated with vegetation shading, surface area, altitude and macrophyte cover.

Main conclusions: Conservation prioritisation that incorporates LCBD and sites with high taxonomic diversity improves the effectiveness of conservation actions within pond habitat networks, ensures site supporting high biodiversity are protected, and provides a method to define a spatial network of protected sites. Identifying new, effective conservation approaches, particularly in urban areas where resources may be scarce and conflicts regarding land use exist, is essential to ensure biodiversity is fully supported and detrimental anthropogenic effects are reduced.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 13, 2021
Online Publication Date Mar 15, 2021
Publication Date 2021-05
Deposit Date Jan 14, 2021
Publicly Available Date Mar 15, 2021
Journal Diversity and Distributions
Print ISSN 1366-9516
Electronic ISSN 1472-4642
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 5
Pages 887-900
Keywords ecological uniqueness; conservation; LCBD; spatial patterns; taxonomic richness; urban ecology
Public URL


Local Contributions To Beta-diversity In Urban Pond Networks: Implications For Biodiversity Conservation And Management (published version) (966 Kb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations