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Water and the landscape: The Landscape Ecology of Freshwater Ecosystems

Proceedings of the fourteenth annual IALE(UK) conference, held at Oxford Brookes University, September 2006

Edited by:

Bella R. Davies and Stewart Thompson

Pond Conservation, c/o School of Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane, Headington, Oxford, OX3 0BP.

Spatial Ecology and Landuse Unit, School of Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane, Headington, Oxford, OX3 0BP.


IALE(UK) was established in 1992, to promote communication, inter-disciplinary research and the development of knowledge and interaction between scientists and those engaged in the planning and management of the landscape. Pond Conservation is a charity concerned with scientific research into all freshwaters and the development of policy to improve the protection of freshwaters in Europe. The organisation also undertakes practical projects for the conservation of freshwaters and provides expert guidance for other environmental organisations, statutory agencies, government and the public.

Landscape ecology involves the study of the components of a landscape and their interaction across both space and time. The term ‘landscape’ is inherently associated with terrestrial environments, yet water is a fundamental element, supporting all forms of life, shaping topography over a variety of scales and, historically, determining the location of settlements. Given the importance of water in the landscape, it is perhaps surprising that aquatic ecosystems have frequently been overlooked in landscape ecological studies, particularly in the UK. Where they have been considered, investigation has frequently concentrated on single waterbody types, e.g. ‘riverscapes’ or ‘pondscapes’. Although this is a step in the right direction, there is a need to go beyond the single waterbody type to consider the ‘waterscape’ as part of the landscape matrix with its terrestrial counterpart.

Concomitant with the tendency for water to be overlooked in landscape ecology, the landscape is often overlooked in aquatic ecology and it is only relatively recently that aquatic ecologists have begun to regularly investigate processes at larger spatial scales, most recently prompted by the EU Water Framework Directive. At smaller scales, aquatic ecologists have considered the variety of habitats that occur within a waterbody, however, this intra-waterbody landscape also remains predominantly overlooked by landscape ecologists.

Aquatic systems are ideal environments in which to study the principles and processes of landscape ecology: They occur in a wide variety of landscapes, with linear, lotic waterbodies inherently providing connectivity through these landscapes, whilst networks of lentic waterbodies present the opportunity to investigate processes associated with systems over a gradient of isolation. Thus, it is perhaps surprising that such waterscapes have been under-utilised by landscape ecologists.

There is now a need to unite landscape and aquatic ecologists, to ensure that the whole landscape is considered and that approaches to management challenges are truly holistic, giving them the best chance of success. It is with this in mind that we convene this conference, providing a range of topics to inform and debate, with an end goal of firmly embedding water as a primary consideration in landscape ecology studies.

We would like to thank the IALE(UK) committee and Pond Conservation for their support in organising this conference. We would also particularly like to thank Olive Gearing, Fiona Hemsley-Flint, Miles Beaumont, Phil Voysey, Bob Pomfret, Linda Harris and members of the Spatial Ecology and Landuse Unit at Oxford Brookes University for their help in the organisation of many aspects of this conference.


Session 1. People, Water and the Landscape

Whither river landscape ecology?
S.M. Haslam .. 2

History and ecology in the reconstruction of the South Yorkshire Fens: past, present and future
I.D. Rotherham and K. Harrison .. 8

Ponds, people and the built environment: A socio-ecological perspective of a new town development
D.G. Gledhill, P. James and D.H. Davies .. 17

Land suitability assessment for wetland rice farming: linking biophysical data with socio-economic household survey data in northern Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
U. J. Ituen, J.D. Whyatt, G.A. Blackburn and I. B. Inyang .. 26

Simulating and assessing future land-use scenarios using land-use and hydrological models with landscape metrics in the Wu-Tu watershed, Northern Taiwan
Y.P. Lin, P.J. Wu, N.M. Hong and C.F. Wu .. 33

A hydro power resource model for north west England
D.C. Howard, G. Aggidis and S.M. Wright .. 41

Planning for environmental and ecological gain with Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS): monitoring and evaluation of a storm water drainage system within a new housing development at Upton, Northampton, UK.
J.I. Jackson, C.P. Holt, D.R. Newman and D.J. Clarke .. 47

Session 2. Pattern, Process and its Analysis I


Resolving long-term processes in the landscape ecology of rivers
S. J. Ormerod .. 56

Does the equilibrium theory of island biogeography apply to dragonfly breeding ecology in a desert sinkhole complex?
K.H. Gaines .. 64

Linking landscape pattern to process: distribution and dispersal in threatened wetland gastropods
I. Durance, A.M. Watson, K. Niggebrugge and S.J. Ormerod .. 72

Using river basins as ecological units to evaluate landscape fragmentation
E. Padoa-Schioppa, M.C. Poggesi, L. Bottoni .. 77

The application of a landscape summary method to predict the invasion patterns of alien riparian plants
G.S. Campbell, P.G. Blackwell and F.I. Woodward .. 85

Stability in pond networks
J. Boothby .. 93

Quantifying river habitat structure in ecologically meaningful ways
I.P. Vaughan and S.J. Ormerod .. 102

Dissecting spatial patterns in lake macrophyte communities at multiple spatial scales
R.A. Briers .. 110


Session 3. Issues and Challenges for the Freshwater Landscape

Developments in water policy: Can we turn waffle into wetlands?
R. Cunningham .. 117

The role of woodland in flood control: a landscape perspective
T.R. Nisbet and H. Thomas .. 118

Land use change and the water environment of the West Weald over a 30-year period 1971-2001
R. Howorth and C. Manning .. 126


Sub-Session. Planning for Agricultural Landscapes

Aquatic habitats of the UK agricultural landscapes: characterisation of invertebrate assemblages
J. Biggs, C.D. Brown, P.J. Williams, M. Whitfield, P. Nicolet, J. Hollis, S. Maund, D. Arnold and T. Pepper .. 135

Towards achieving sustainability for the biodiversity of aquatic habitats in UK agricultural landscapes
B.R. Davies, J. Biggs and P. Williams ..146

Accumulated landscape ecological effects of riparian management in river catchments used for agriculture
P. Dennis, K. Beaton, S. Langan and J.A. Stockan .. 155

Exploring the scope for spatially targeted agri-environmental schemes for wetland creation or restoration
D. van der Horst and C. Bradley ..163

Development of environmental performance standards for suspended sediments in Canadian streams in agricultural watersheds
G.A. Benoy, R.B. Brua and J.M. Culp .. 171


Session 4. Pattern, Process and its Analysis II

Structure and dynamics of within-river landscape as illustrated by chalk streams
G.R. Davies and J.A.B. Bass .. 180

Linkages between the floodplain and aquatic food webs in turbid, permanent waterholes in western Queensland, Australia
P.M. Davies .. 194

Aquatic-terrestrial food web linkages along rivers
A. Paetzold and K. Tockner .. 201

The effects of fragmentation of groundwater systems on the distribution of characteristic fen species in Dutch polders
H. Soomers, M.J. Wassen and P.A. Verweij .. 209

Zooplankton species occurrence in arctic lakes in landscapes of very different ages
W.J. O’Brien, M.E. Burris, A.E. Hershey, V.B. Holland and C. Luecke .. 218

The effect of landscape surface age on linking terrestrial productivity to higher trophic levels in lake ecosystems through methanotrophic bacteria
A. E. Hershey, S. C. Whalen, W. J. O’Brien, M. D. Keyse, and K. Fortino .. 225


Session 5. Planning for Waterbodies at the Landscape Scale

The future landscape – a geographic information view
G. Hart and F. Hemsley-Flint .. 235

The effect of riparian management on habitats and river organisms in the Wye catchment, Wales
E. Clews, I. P. Vaughan and S.J. Ormerod .. 240

Investigation into best practice for the design and management of successfully engineered wetland habitat systems on brownfield land
K.A.L. Wright, P.J. Johnes, T.R. Nisbet and G. Sellers .. 248

Bottom-up into top-down: how site-specific information can inform ecologically sensitive landscape policy development
C.E. McParland .. 256

Developing a 50-year Wetland Vision for England
C. Howard .. 264

Implementing a whole-landscape approach to catchment management
A. Southern, A. Lovett, A. Watkinson and T.O’Riordan .. 267

Wetland loss and restoration – what role for habitat banking?
S. Thompson, N. Bailey, A. White and B.R. Davies .. 274

Stuck in the Mire. The reality of wetland creation - Beckingham Marshes
H. Bowell and T. Cleeves .. 280

Partnership opportunities for wetland conservation at the catchment scale
C. Rostron .. 286

Putting planning with water into practice
S.Scoffin .. 294


The tourism economic argument for wetlands: a case study approach
S. Doncaster, D. Egan, K. Harrison and I.D. Rotherham .. 296

The identification of functional ecological networks in the Milton Keynes South Midlands growth area
M.C. Fessey and N. Bailey .. 301

Characteristics of Mediterranean Temporary Ponds in Western Crete, Greece
G. Kazakis, C. Aponte, D. Ghosn, I. N. Vogiatzakis and V. P. Papanastasis .. 304

Green Infrastructure and development: Bat (Chiroptera) populations along an historic green lane and around a SUDS on an adjacent new housing development at Upton, Northampton, UK
L. J. Langley and J. I. Jackson .. 305

Stream habitat changes along an agricultural impacted stream
J. Molinero and J. Pozo .. 310

Studies in the ecology of stream bryophytes and macroalgae: scale, pattern and process
L. Nairn, B.J. Downes and T.J. Entwisle .. 315

The European Pond Conservation Network (EPCN)
P. Nicolet, S. Angélibert, J. Biggs, R. Céréghino, A. Hull, B. Oertli and B. Sajaloli . 316

Water and wetlands: their conservation and re-creation in a social landscape – the vital role of project champions
I.D. Rotherham and G. Cartwright .. 321

The influence of river runoff on alluvial meadow habitats
R. Šimanauskiene, J. Taminskas and R. Linkeviciene .. 327

Wetland habitat creation and mitigation of water pollution from field drains: use of buffer strip pools within an arable landscape
C. Stoate, M. Whitfield, P. Williams and K. Driver .. 331

Predicting areas of suitable habitat by using GIS for the Small Red Damselfly Ceriagrion tenellum (De Villiers), (Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae)
A. M. Strange, G. H. Griffiths and G. J. Holloway .. 335

Applying spatial ecology principles in riparian restoration and design
M.E. Tyler .. 340

River restoration & biodiversity conservation: a disorder approach
K. Van Looy .. 344

The basin of the river Mugnone (Tuscany, Central Italy): integration of territorial and landscape analysis on different scales
L. Zavattero, V. Gargini, B. Lombardo, F. Wolfswinkel, M. Marchetti, C. Blasi .. 350