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Conservation Ecology of Aquatic Plants

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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00599

Landscape- and local-scale actions are essential to conserve regional macrophyte biodiversity

  • 1Institute of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan
  • 2National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan

Regional-scale pond diversity is supported by high variation in community composition. To effectively and efficiently conserve pond regional diversity, it is essential to recognize the community types in a focal region and the scales of the factors influencing the occurrence of respective community types. Based on a flora survey and GIS analysis of 367 ponds in western Japan, we developed a multinomial regression model that describes the relationship between aquatic macrophyte community type (based on cluster analysis) and five environmental factors that differ in the spatial scale at which they operate (i.e., landscape or local scale) and origin (i.e., natural or anthropogenic). A change in topographic configuration resulted in a transition of the community types with high species richness. Increasing urban and agricultural area around ponds resulted in a decrease in species-rich community occurrence; an increase in urban area increased the probability of a pond having no macrophytes, whereas that of paddy field increased the probability of a pond having only a few macrophytes. Pond surface area and proportion of artificial embankment significantly defined the pond community: greater embankment proportions increased the probability of ponds having few or no macrophytes. Our results suggest that conserving regional pond biodiversity will require actions not only at a local scale but also at a sufficiently large spatial scale to cover the full gradient of topographic configurations that influence the macrophyte species composition in ponds.

Keywords: aquatic plants, beta diversity, community assemblage, Irrigation pond, Regional conservation planning, topographic wetness index

Received: 20 Sep 2017; Accepted: 16 Apr 2018.

Edited by:

Richard K. Unsworth, Swansea University, United Kingdom

Reviewed by:

Teresa Ferreira, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
Balázs A. Lukács, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), Hungary  

Copyright: © 2018 Akasaka and Takamura. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Munemitsu Akasaka, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Institute of Agriculture, 3-5-8, Saiwaicho, Fuchu, 183-8509, Tokyo, Japan,