ResPond Project

What are temporary ponds?

Temporary ponds (i.e. ponds that seasonally or erratically dry) are a ubiquitous component of global biomes found from the equatorial forests to the arctic tundras. However, with the intensification of agriculture and hydrological modification of landscapes, these systems have largely disappeared in Europe and are often strongly degraded. Despite their substantial biodiversity including many species found nowhere else, most temporary ponds lack any formal protection. They are often overlooked and have a poor reputation. For instance, they or considered sources of mosquitoes. However, there are also strong indications that they fulfil important roles in landscapes but the full scope of ecosystem services they provide has not been quantified.

Project objectives

The goal of ResPond is to be a catalyst for more effective long-term conservation of temporary pond biodiversity and ecosystem services. We will do this by:

  1. Developing guidelines to reduce temporary pond degradation
  2. Developing an effective framework for expanding temporary pond conservation in Europe
  3. Developing guidelines to improve temporary pond creation and restoration
  4. Raising awareness about temporary pond ecosystems and the strategies needed to preserve them

What’s the problem?

  • Most temporary ponds in Europe are unprotected.
  • Most temporary ponds in Europe are degraded.
  • Temporary pond restoration and creation projects have had variable success.
  • Ecosystem services delivered by temporary ponds are poorly understood and may be poor due to the absence of keystone species.
  • Temporary ponds are poorly known and have a bad reputation with regards to ecosystem disservices

What we plan to do

  • We will make a temporary pond typology, try to map the their location in the Western Palearctic and perform a threat analysis for different temporary pond types to support conservation prioritization and protective legislation.
  • We will prioritize temporary pond threats and check to which extent these are generalizable geographically or to different types of temporary ponds.
  • We will analyze the determinants of successful pond restoration and creation projects
  • We will measure ecosystem services and disservices and the experimentally test the potential role of large branchiopod crustaceans as keystone species.
  • We will adequately inform policy makers, scientists, conservation managers and the general public.


ResPond is an EU ERANET project funded by Biodiversa, Water JPI and funding agencies in Belgium, Spain, Poland and Morocco.

Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), Belgium
Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI), Spain Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training,
Higher Education and Scientific Research

(MENFPESRS), Morocco
National Science Centre (NCN), Poland