Vernal ponds, also referred to as vernal pools, provide critical ecosystem services and habitat for a variety of threatened and endangered species. However, they are vulnerable parts of the landscapes that are often poorly understood and understudied. Land use and management practices, as well as climate change are thought to be a contribution to the global amphibian decline. However, more research is needed to understand the extent of these impacts. Here, we present methodology for characterizing a vernal pond's morphology and detail a monitoring station that can be used to collect water quantity and quality data over the duration of a vernal pond's hydroperiod. We provide methodology for how to conduct field surveys to characterize the morphology and develop stage-storage curves for a vernal pond. Additionally, we provide methodology for monitoring the water level, temperature, pH, oxidation-reduction potential, dissolved oxygen, and electrical conductivity of water in a vernal pond, as well as monitoring rainfall data. This information can be used to better quantify the ecosystem services that vernal ponds provide and the impacts of anthropogenic activities on their ability to provide these services.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Neuroscience
- General Chemical Engineering
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Immunology and Microbiology