Talk Constructed stormwater systems extended to provide biodiversity neutral roads

Roads have significant effects on aquatic environment and ecosystems, leading to the loss of freshwater habitats and a decrease in aquatic biodiversity. In face of the degradation of freshwaters and the loss of ecosystem services, constructed ponds and wetlands can be established as potential options for compensating the adverse effects of roads. Constructed ponds and wetlands are known as sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) that provide multiple ecosystem services simultaneously, such as flooding and pollution control, as well as biodiversity services. Nowadays the concept of sustainability has become increasingly popular in road construction. Biodiversity has played a crucial role in the framework of recent policies and international conventions for promoting sustainable development. Several studies demonstrated that constructed ponds and wetlands are able to support wildlife and enhance biodiversity, providing new opportunities for species to resist disturbance. The adoption of constructed ponds and wetlands is in compliance with the main goal of the EU Water Framework Directive, which pinpoints a vital trend towards an ecosystem-based approach to achieve “good ecological and chemical status” for all surface waters and groundwater in Europe.

However, due to the complex interaction between different ecosystem services, detailed studies are still needed to provide a solid basis for biodiversity protection and promotion. The paper will present the results from an on-going project aiming to determine the factors that control biodiversity in constructed ponds and wetlands along roads. Different biotic and abiotic factors that influence the aquatic biodiversity will be identified using the data collected during the sampling campaign in Norway. Biological data will be explored in combination with chemical data and physical features. The influence of hydroperiod, chemical pollutants, and physical aspects of water and sediment quality (e.g. pH, conductivity, and temperature) on the biodiversity (e.g. abundance of macroinvertebrates) will be analysed. The relationship between the cover of aquatic vegetation and the abundance of macroinvertebrates will also be explored due to the crucial role of aquatic vegetation in providing shelter, food resources, and habitat structural diversity. Mathematical models that can be used to simulate the influence of various factors are being reviewed. Such models play a crucial role in quantifying ecosystem services and bridging gaps between theoretical knowledge and practices.This study will disclose the factors that maintain and enhance biodiversity and at the same time provide flooding and pollution control in constructed ponds and wetlands along roads.

aquatic biodiversity, macroinvertebrates, constructed ponds, constructed wetlands, models