The year has started off pretty well, with a pair of papers accepted on different topics within freshwater ecology. In the first, led by Matt Hill (who is about to join the University of Huddersfield as a lecturer - congrats, Matt!) is called "Community heterogeneity of aquatic macroinvertebrates in urban ponds at a multi-city scale" and has been accepted in Landscape Ecology. This is the latest of the collaborations on urban pond ecology that involved bringing together a lot of different researchers and studies to look at broad-scale patterns. This particular study showed that the patterns of biodiversity in urban ponds are largely driven by turnover rather than nestedness. This means that ponds are all very different in terms of the species that are found within them, and so in order to conserve the biodiversity we cannot simply protect a few good examples - we need an integrated management strategy that conserves a diversity of sites.
The second paper was led by Jamie Bojko, who recently graduated from Alison Dunn's lab at the University of Leeds. Jamie is a parasitologist by training, but this latest paper (called "Pathogens of Dikerogammarus haemobaphes regulate host activity and survival, but also threaten native amphipod populations in the UK") took a much broader look at how parasites and pathogens can impact ecosystems. The paper, accepted in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, describes how a relatively innocuous non-native shrimp actually carries a pathogen that can have much greater effects on local species than the shrimp itself. The work demonstrates the importance of looking at the range of potential mechanisms by which invasive species can impact on recipient communities.