Organic carbon in British lowland ponds: estimating sediment stocks, possible practical benefits and significant unknowns

Mike Jeffries*, Peter Gilbert, Scott Taylor, David Cooke, Michael Deary

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ponds are aquatic habitats defined by their small size. Although small they are found on every continent, they are disproportionately rich in aquatic biodiversity, benefit terrestrial wildlife and have important ecosystem function benefits. One of these benefits might be carbon sequestration, a possibility suggested by (1) their abundance, (2) the intensity of their biogeochemical activity. Whilst greenhouse gas fluxes from pond have been monitored widely, quantifying the stocks of organic carbon buried in sediment is a gap in our knowledge. Here we summarise measures of organic carbon in pond sediments cores from a diverse range of lowland ponds in England. We estimate a general measure of 9.38 kg OC in a 1m2 x 20 cm block of pond sediment and scale this up to an overall estimate for Great Britain of 2.63 million tons of OC in pond sediment, with 95% CI of 1.41 to 3.84 million tons. The relationship between sediment carbon and gas fluxes remains a significant unknown.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHydrobiologia
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Aug 2022

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