A pond habitat is a very diverse and dynamic system that includes a variety of different organisms and environmental factors that impact water quality. ATAC biologists have years of experience dealing with a wide variety of ponds and lakes and we understand the steps that need to be taken to turn a problem pond into the highlight of your property. One of the best methods that we have found for improving your pond’s health and water quality is the introduction beneficial native plants in shallow waters and around the shoreline. By placing the correct plants around just 25 to 40% of the perimeter of a pond you can drastically improve the overall health of the pond by reducing erosion and excess nutrient input.
All ponds begin to fill in over time due to erosion. Steep slopes, loose soils, heavy foot traffic, and heavy storms all work to increase erosion but aquatic plants help prevent this by reducing the amount of sediment that runs into the pond. If you are starting to have issues with erosion contact us today and we can develop a specific beneficial planting plan to help stabilize the your pond’s banks for years to come. Signs of erosion to watch for include small ruts and valleys along the banks, exposed steep areas, and exposed bare ground.
Another common pond issue is an overabundance of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. This is a major contributing factor to poor water quality and heavy algae blooms including noxious blue-green algae. Placing plants in key areas (i.e. near inflows) around the pond helps take up phosphorus and nitrogen, thus reducing the availability of these nutrients for algae and pondweed growth.
Examples of utilizing plants to stabilize the shoreline, reduce erosion, and provide aesthetics to your pond.
Providing plant structure in the shallow perimeter waters of a pond is also great for fish reproduction and overall wildlife diversity. Most biological activity in a pond takes place in this area and placing plants here is very important in giving fish, amphibians, and pond invertebrates a place to spawn and hide as they grow thereby contributing to healthy aquatic organism populations.
In addition to all the environmental benefits that native beneficial plants provide, they also can greatly improve the appearance of a pond. ATAC offers a wide variety of beautiful aquatic plants of all different colors and shapes that can improve the look of any sized pond or water garden. These plants are easy to care for once placed in the pond and therefore offer a simple solution for avoiding poor pond aesthetics.
Rain Gardens: ATAC also offers rain garden plantings. This can be the perfect solution for managing low-lying areas of your property that appear to be wet throughout most of the year. Planting the right type of native vegetation in these areas not only hides these unsightly spots but also help take up excess nutrients that can eventually end up in a pond. Most rain garden plants are flowering and provide habitat for a wide variety of animals, especially hummingbirds and butterflies. Additionally, rain gardens set up with the right native plants are virtually maintenance free. Rain garden plantings have become increasingly popular as more and more people have realized their positive environmental impacts and they may be a great addition to your pond or property.