Comparison of ecosystem processes in a woodland and prairie pond with different hydroperiods

Daniel J. Hornbach, Mark C. Hove, Mira W. Ensley-Field, Matthew R. Glasenapp, Ian A. Goodbar, J. Douglas Harman, Benjamin D. Huber, Emily A. Kangas, Kira X. Liu, Molly Stark-Ragsdale, Long K. Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Shallow lakes and ponds constitute a significant number of water bodies worldwide. Many are heterotrophic, indicating that they are likely net contributors to global carbon cycling. Climate change is likely to have important impacts on these waterbodies. In this study, we examined two small Minnesota ponds; a permanent woodland pond and a temporary prairie pond. The woodland pond had lower levels of phosphorus and phytoplankton than the prairie pond. Using the open water oxygen method, we found the prairie pond typically had a higher level of gross primary production (GPP) and respiration (R) than the woodland pond, although the differences between the ponds varied with season. Despite the differences in GPP and R between the ponds the net ecosystem production was similar with both being heterotrophic. Since abundant small ponds may play an important role in carbon cycling and are likely to undergo changes in temperature and hydroperiod associated with climate change, understanding pond metabolism is critical in predicting impacts and designing management schemes to mitigate changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-695
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Freshwater Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Macalester College.


  • Climate change
  • Hydroperiod
  • Periphyton
  • Phytoplankton
  • Pond metabolism

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