EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Opening the biogeochemistry black box of small urban ponds

Mary Lusk
Mary Lusk
  • University of Florida, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Soil, Water, and Ecosystem Sciences, United States of America (

There are over 76,000 stormwater ponds in Florida, USA, forming 2.7% of total urban land cover in the state. While stormwater ponds are constructed primarily for flood control, they are often expected to perform some level of pollutant removal as well. Urban runoff conveyed to stormwater ponds contains numerous pollutants, including sediments, nutrients, dissolved organic matter, pathogens, and heavy metals. Biogeochemical processes within stormwater ponds play a large role in how these pollutants are stored, transformed, and/or removed. This presentation discusses recent work on transformations of nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon in small urban ponds, with emphasis on implications for how these ponds can be better managed for protection of downstream waterbodies. Example studies that will be highlighted include research on the molecular characterization and bioavailability of dissolved organic nitrogen in stormwater ponds, research on the utilization of dissolved organic nutrients in stormwater ponds by the harmful algal species Karenia brevis, and a study investigating carbon storage and greenhouse gas emissions from small urban ponds

How to cite: Lusk, M.: Opening the biogeochemistry black box of small urban ponds, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-16999,, 2023.