New pondlife discovered on nature reserve

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London, Jan 13 (ANI): Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London have found a large variety of tiny aquatic organisms in the East Stoke Fen nature reserve.

Queen Marys' School of Biological and Chemical Sciences working with Dorset Wildlife Trust has discovered more than 30 species of invertebrates called meiofauna, because they are smaller than half a millimetre, and over 100 single-celled species (ciliates) in less than two months.

"Cryptic biodiversity helps natural ecosystems to bounce back in response to environmental change. The Wet Fens Project in partnership with Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Freshwater Biological Association is pioneer work in the UK, to link research with conservation practice with the aim of incorporating small organisms into wetland conservation management. Local biodiversity conservation will become all-embracing by covering the full range of aquatic organisms that contribute to the proper functioning of an ecosystem- not just those judged as 'charismatic'," Dr Genoveva Esteban of Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, said.

"It is very exciting to learn about these incredible animals on our reserve, thanks to the work of the scientific team. The Wet Fens Project will help to protect them for the future, alongside the more visible aquatic wildlife," Dr Rachel Janes, Dorset Wildlife Trust's Pond Project Co-ordinator, said. (ANI)

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