BioRisk 5: 193-209, doi: 10.3897/biorisk.5.849
Anthropogenic climate change impacts on ponds: a thermal mass perspective
John Matthews
Abstract Small freshwater aquatic lentic systems (lakes and ponds) are sensitive to anthropogenic climate change through shifts in ambient air temperatures and patterns of precipitation. Shifts in air temperatures will influence lentic water temperatures through convection and by changing evaporation rates. Shifts in the timing, amount, and intensity of precipitation will alter the thermal mass of lentic systems even in the absence of detectable ambient air temperature changes. These effects are likely to be strongest in ponds (standing water bodies primarily mixed by temperature changes than by wind), for whom precipitation makes up a large component of inflows. Although historical water temperature datasets are patchy for lentic systems, thermal mass effects are likely to outweigh impacts from ambient air temperatures in most locations and may show considerable independence from those trends. Thermal mass-induced changes in water temperature will thereby alter a variety of population- and community-level processes in aquatic macroinvertebrates.