Thornhill, I., Ledger, M., Batty, L., Friberg, N. Leaf litter breakdown as a measure of ecosystem functioning in ponds across an urban land-use gradient. West Midlands and North West Freshwater Group annual meeting, University of Bolton, UK, September 2011
Leaf breakdown experiments are commonly used to assess ecosystem function in streams, but rarely in stillwaters. We tested ecosystem function in urban ponds within the Birmingham conurbation against a gradient of land use. Microbial activity drives leaf breakdown in urban ponds, particularly where shredder abundances are impacted.