Biodiversity and water resource protection benefits of small-scale constructed wetlands on farmland.

Author Stoate, C., Bradbury, R.B., Williams, P., Szczur, J., Kirby, W. & Aquilina, R.
Citation Stoate, C., Bradbury, R.B., Williams, P., Szczur, J., Kirby, W. & Aquilina, R. (2012). Biodiversity and water resource protection benefits of small-scale constructed wetlands on farmland. In: Constructed Wetlands - Water Management, Treatment and Reuse. Proceedings of Constructed Wetlands Association Annual Conference. Aqua Enviro, London.

Abstract

Loss and degradation of ponds and other wet areas on farmland has resulted in the loss of a range of aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity (Williams et al., 2010, Bradbury et al., 2006). The role of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) for reducing the impact of urban land use has become widely accepted while similar constructed wetlands have been demonstrated to reduce the impact of agricultural land use on the aquatic environment by capturing sediment and associated nutrients and other pollutants (Braskerud, 2001, 2002). There is some evidence that small scale constructed wetlands on farmland can contribute to meeting the dual objectives of biodiversity conservation and water resource protection (Stoate et al., 2006).
This study explores the potential of small scale field edge and field corner wetlands, primarily for biodiversity conservation (birds and aquatic invertebrates) but also for sediment retention. The main project objectives are:
1. To measure success in delivering open water and bare earth, as a measure of access to food resources for farmland birds
2. To measure success in delivering obligate wetland invertebrates, especially those important as a food resource for farmland birds
3. To measure use of the created features by foraging farmland birds
4. To assess the acceptability of these measures to farmers

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