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Stormwater ponds and wetlands: beyond runoff regulation
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: 2011 Louisville, Kentucky, August 7-10, 2011 1111506.
Authors: Trisha L.C Moore, William F Hunt
Keywords: Ecosystem services, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, stormwater control measure
Stormwater control measures (SCMs) such as ponds and wetlands are designed to regulate runoff hydrology and quality. However, these created ecosystems also provide a range of other benefits, or ecosystem services, that are often acknowledged but rarely quantified. In this study, a range of other ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and cultural services, were assessed and compared between 20 stormwater pond and 20 wetlands in North Carolina, USA. Carbon sequestration was estimated through the carbon content of pond and wetland sediments across a gradient of system age. Biodiversity was quantified in terms of the richness and Shannon’s diversity index of vegetative and aquatic macroinvertebrate communities. Cultural services were qualitatively assessed based on the potential for recreational and educational opportunities at each site. Ponds and wetlands were found to support similar levels of macroinvertebrate diversity, though differences community composition arose between the two habitat types. Wetlands outperformed ponds in terms of vegetative diversity, cultural service provision, and carbon sequestration potential. Assessments such as this are needed to quantitatively account for the range of benefits these systems provide.