Alpine ponds are small standing water bodies situated in mountainous regions at or above tree line. Hydrology is driven by snow and ice with harsh conditions comparable to that in shallow water bodies at high latitudes. Invertebrate communities are less diverse than at low altitudes and often dominated by “cold stenotherms” with arctic/boreal-alpine distributions. The unique assemblages in alpine ponds (many regional endemics) are of special conservation value. Species composition and diversity vary among basins of different size, substrate types, and permanence. Clusters of alpine ponds are excellent habitats for studying metacommunity dynamics and patterns of regional diversity. Alpine ponds are sentinel systems for, and especially vulnerable to, the effects of regional (e.g., acid precipitation) and global (climate change) human impacts.