Wetzel's Limnology (Fourth Edition): Lake and River Ecosystems - Chapter 26: Shallow Lakes and Ponds

Elsevier, Wetzel's Limnology, Fourth Edition: Lake and River Ecosystems, 2024, pp 859-892
Meerhoff M., Beklioglu M.

This chapter focuses on shallow lakes and ponds, the most abundant freshwater ecosystems on Earth. We highlight that, although they are often neglected, their role in biodiversity, water provision, the carbon cycle, and recreation is disproportionate to their size and volume. The theory of alternative equilibria and regime shifts in shallow lakes is revisited considering recent empirical advances in drivers and feedback mechanisms, and the main structural and functional characteristics of the most typical regimes are described. We highlight the importance of a landscape perspective, as networks of ponds and shallow lakes represent hotspots of biodiversity, particularly in urban and agricultural settings, and in arid, semiarid, and polar areas. We describe restoration practices and some management guidelines considering the fragility of these ecosystems to many local and global changes including climate change, land-use change, and the biodiversity crisis.