Woodcock, Thomas S., Monaghan, Megan C., and Alexander, Karen E.
Wetlands; Jun2010, Vol. 30 Issue 3, p461-474, 14p, 1 Black and White Photograph, 2 Diagrams, 5 Charts, 1 Graph
Stormwater ponds (SWPs) are wetlands created or engineered for the purpose of collecting and controlling urban runoff, sediments, and toxins prior to discharging into other surface and/or ground waters. As wetlands face increasing pressure from development, many SWPs are also considered by planners as a valid solution to the problem of wetland habitat loss. This study compares water chemistry, organic matter dynamics, and macroinvertebrate community structure, biomass, and secondary productivity in a sample of SWPs with nearby reference wetlands of natural origin. Although total secondary productivity of invertebrates was greater in SWPs, significant differences were observed in water chemistry, invertebrate community structure, invertebrate biomass turnover, and organic matter dynamics that suggest that the SWPs were not comparable to the reference wetlands from the point of view of ecosystem function and conservation. Furthermore, improvement in the function of SWPs in pollutant control might be achieved by improving their function in conservation, most notably by considering the role of organic matter inputs from adjacent terrestrial areas in the planning. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]