Interactions of hydrology, geochemistry, and biodiversity in woodland ponds located in riverine floodplains: case study from Scotland

Vladimir Krivtsov, Jim Buckman, Steve Birkinshaw, Valerie Olive

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Abstract

The Gore Glen pond is located in the forested floodplain of the Gore River, in the Mid-Lothian region near Edinburgh, Scotland. This work has considered in detail the hydrology, hydrochemistry, and biodiversity of the pond together with all their interactions and in addition interactions with the adjacent Gore River. It is important as it is one of few studies considering all these issues for a pond located in a riverine floodplain. This work shows the pond is connected to the Gore River for discharge events in the river larger than a 1 in 5-year return period. For these events, the pond acts as an online storage feature and will attenuate the flow, thus contributing towards the mitigation of downstream flooding. These large events are also a potential source of the large amount of sediments, as well as adsorbed chemicals, accumulated in the pond. The open water surface of the pond is covered by duckweed, Lemna minor, for most of the year, and that has profound implications for the hydrobiological community and biogeochemical cycling. The system is characterised by nutrient release from sediments due to the extensive hypolimnion anoxia in the summer/autumn period caused by the decomposition of organic matter. Algae are mostly represented by epiphytic diatoms and the cyanobacterium Microcystis, but their development appears to be constrained by light penetration. The eutrophic conditions are also conducive for the population of Difflugia (Protozoa, Rhizopoda). This work improves our understanding of the ecological relations of testate amoebae—an important group which has recently been used as biological indicators for the analysis of paleoecological relationships and paleogeographical reconstructions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Early online date22 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Ecological monitoring
  • Biological community
  • Newts habitat suitability
  • Vegetation
  • Green infrastructure
  • Climate change resilience
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Geochemical patterns
  • Environmental modelling

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