As reported in YaleNews
, the outsized influence of small ponds is the result of their physical makeup and the way they cycle carbon. Small ponds have a high perimeter-to-surface-area ratio, for instance, and accumulate a higher load of terrestrial carbon — so-called “leaf litter,” sediment particles, and other material. Small ponds also tend to be shallow, which means their terrestrial carbon loads are highly concentrated compared to larger lakes. Lastly, gases produced at the bottom of these ponds are able to reach the top more often than what occurs in larger lakes, due to greater water mixing and shallower waters. Because of this, CO2 and CH4 generated in sediments affects the entire pond.
The paper, published in the journal Nature Geoscience
, has seen been cited in 64 papers, including in such journals as Nature
, Ecological Applications
, and Global Change Biology
“Meredith Holgerson’s dissertation research — some of which is documented in this paper — challenges our view of small ponds as ecosystems,” said Linda Duguay
, ASLO’s president. “Given the abundance of these small water bodies around the world, their potential to influence global cycles is vast. The impressive number of citations her paper has already received indicate that this paper will be quite impactful in our field.”
Read the full citation
The award will be presented at the ASLO summer meeting in British Columbia in June, 2018.