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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.