MyPond - Az én kistavam
Ponds are small waterbodies (<10 ha) that can serve as refuge for a range of species including endangered and rare ones. They provide food and water for terrestrial animals (e.g. birds, bats). This role in supporting biodiversity is even more crucial in cities where they are stepping-stones between natural patches. Our current knowledge of their ecology, especially the smallest, artificial and privately owned garden ponds is limited. Their ecosystem services (reducing the urban heat island effect, aesthetic and cultural services etc.) directly benefit the owners of such ponds. This creates an opportunity to engage pond owners in citizen science which both aids researchers in data collection and can be a way of environmental education.
- Creating a database of urban and garden ponds in Hungary with an emphasis on the capital city, examining water quality and biodiversity using environmental DNA-based methods and a citizen science approach built on easily recognizable protected species such as amphibians and dragonflies.
- Raising awareness on the importance of urban ponds, focusing on their role in biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services. In addition, we plan to provide valuable tips and practical advice to current and future pond owners. Not only will we spread information within the community, but we will be closely working with municipalities and non-profit organisations.
- Publishing our results in basic and applied scientific journals. All data will be utilized in our university courses. The completed database and our research results can serve as a basis for the development of urban blue-green infrastructures in the future, in line with the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030.