Trait-based evaluation of plant assemblages in traditional farm ponds in Korea: Ecological and management implications

Plant trait-based evaluation of farm ponds

  • Sungsoo Yoon National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Climate Change and Agroecology Division, Jeollabuk-do, Korea, Republic of.
  • GoWoon Kim O-Jeong Eco-Resilience Institute (OJERI) and Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, Seoul, Korea, Republic of.
  • Ho Choi Department of Biology Education, Seoul National University, Korea, Republic of.
  • Chaeho Byun School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of.
  • Dowon Lee | Department of Environmental Planning and Asian Center, Seoul National University, Korea, Republic of.


The Korean traditional farm pond called dumbeong is an important rural landscape element that supports local biodiversity and is useful in irrigating agricultural fields during dry periods. This study assesses how plant communities in dumbeongs respond to adjacent land use, water depth, open-water surface, and nutrient levels and irrigation usage. Plant functional and species groups, based on trait and species data respectively from 20 dumbeongs in Seocheon-gun, South Korea, were classified by hierarchical analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling. Relationships between the plant community composition and explanatory variables at both the species and functional group levels were tested through redundancy analysis. The results showed that irrigation usage prevented nutrient accumulation and water depth reduction of the ponds, and we found water depth was the only significant factor that determined plant composition at both species and functional group levels. The plant functional groups were more useful than plant species in predicting plant composition in dumbeongs, owing to their collective response to water depth and open-water surface. Our results demonstrate that management practices of dumbeong, such as periodic drainage, sediment removal and control of dominant plant species, alter its plant communities and thus need to be considered for biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes.



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Original Articles
Edited by
Rossano Bolpagni, University of Parma, Italy
Supporting Agencies
National Research Foundation of Korea, Try initiative on plant traits (, UK Natural Environment Research Council, French Foundation for Biodiversity Research
Pond ecology, irrigation, plant composition, plant functional group, trait, biodiversity
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How to Cite
Yoon S, Kim G, Choi H, Byun C, Lee D. Trait-based evaluation of plant assemblages in traditional farm ponds in Korea: Ecological and management implications. jlimnol [Internet]. 3Jan.2019 [cited 29Jan.2020];78(1). Available from: