Pond & Pool
Natural pond and pool communities are those found in deeper open-water sections of ponds, large pools in marshes or meadows with little to no emergent vegetation, ox-bow lakes, or beaver impoundments. Artificial conditions have been created as a result of extensive dam building of many of Tennessee's rivers and streams and such ponded communities are now common along the fringes of man-made reservoirs. These have similar vegetation but are treated under Reservoirs & Impoundments.
Most people are familiar with ponds as being a small circular body of water in a cattle pasture or field on a farm. These types of ponds are artificial ponds and were created by the construction of earthen dams that catch surface drainage from surrounding uplands or that dam up small headwater streams or springs. Tennessee also has a variety of natural ponds as well. You might ask, "just what is a natural pond?" Tennessee's natural ponds form in flood plains of rivers similar to ox-bow lakes (but tend to be smaller) or they may be created by beavers. Other ponds are associated with sinkholes that have become "stopped-up" or drain very infrequently. These "sinkhole ponds" occur in areas underlain by karst limestone and are mostly limited to Middle Tennessee's limestone regions, espcially the Pennyroyal Plain and southern Eastern Highland Rim. Small ponds that occur in depressions not associated with limestone sinks are often termed "depression ponds" or vernal pools. They are mostly rainwater fed and often dry up each year and tend to not to be formed directly over karst geology.