Temporal patterns in sediment, carbon, and nutrient burial in ponds associated with changing agricultural tillage

Martina N. Rogers, Tanner J. Williamson, Lesley B. Knoll, Michael J. Vanni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lakes and ponds play a disproportionate role in retaining sediment, carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, potentially mitigating negative environmental effects. However, how sequestration rates change over a pond’s lifetime, and how rates are affected by watershed land use practices remains poorly characterized. In this study, we quantified sediment, carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus burial rates, and the values of these ecosystem services, in three ponds. The ponds were 19–25 years in age (as of 2019), and their watersheds experienced a shift in the early 1990s to conservation tillage. We found that sediment burial rates decreased over time within these ponds (establishment to 2006, vs. 2006 to 2019), consistent with reduced soil erosion rates associated with conservation tillage. However, patterns in carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus burial rates were not as clear; almost half of the elemental burial rates we quantified increased over time. We suggest that this may be due to increased importance of in-pond processes, such as in situ primary production and subsequent organic matter sedimentation, as the ponds age. Finally, we estimated the ecosystem service value of sediment, carbon, and nutrient retention by these ponds. We estimate that these three ponds provided ecosystem services equal to approximately 360,083 US$ over their lifetimes through burial of sediment, carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Our results show that small retention ponds can provide considerable environmental and economic value by trapping and retaining sediments and nutrients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-102
Number of pages16
JournalBiogeochemistry
Volume159
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the property owners for allowing us access to their ponds, and BJ Price from the Preble County Soil and Water Conservation District for coordinating site access. We also thank Tera Ratliff of the Miami University Center for Aquatic & Watershed Sciences (CAWS) for her assistance in C, N and P sample analyses, Josh Tivin for his help in processing samples, Bartosz Grudzinski for his aid in the field, and Miami University’s Ecology Research Center for boat access. This paper benefited from comments on a prior draft by María González, Carrie Ann Sharitt, Elizabeth Gallagher, Heather Luken, Katie Busch, and Amy Weber. Financial support for this project was provided by National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants 1255159 and 1930655, and MNR was supported by a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) supplement to NSF Grant 1255159 during summer 2019.

Funding Information:
Financial support for this project was provided by National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants 1255159 and 1930655, and MNR was supported by an Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) supplement to NSF Grant 1255159 during summer 2019.

Funding Information:
We thank the property owners for allowing us access to their ponds, and BJ Price from the Preble County Soil and Water Conservation District for coordinating site access. We also thank Tera Ratliff of the Miami University Center for Aquatic & Watershed Sciences (CAWS) for her assistance in C, N and P sample analyses, Josh Tivin for his help in processing samples, Bartosz Grudzinski for his aid in the field, and Miami University?s Ecology Research Center for boat access. This paper benefited from comments on a prior draft by Mar?a Gonz?lez, Carrie Ann Sharitt, Elizabeth Gallagher, Heather Luken, Katie Busch, and Amy Weber. Financial support for this project was provided by National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants 1255159 and 1930655, and MNR was supported by a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) supplement to NSF Grant 1255159 during summer 2019.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Keywords

  • Burial rates
  • Carbon
  • Conservation tillage
  • Ecosystem services
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Ponds

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