Wednesday, 17 February 2016


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Lakes and ponds are both defined as a standing or slow-moving body of water surrounded by land. They can be either man-made or natural water bodies.

It can be hard to distinguish between the two as definitions are loose and the terms are not firmly defined. However, lakes are generally larger and/or deeper than ponds and there are ecological differences too.


A lake is a water body of variable size that sits within a basin. They differ from lagoons in that they are not part of the ocean. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams, which are usually flowing (although most lakes are fed and drained by rivers and streams).

They are larger and deeper than ponds, preventing light from penetrating to the bottom and therefore limiting photosynthesis to the top layer which restricts rooted vegetation to the margins. In addition lakes typically have stratified hot and cold temperatures between layers of their water during summer months.  These factors affect the ecology and result in differences between ponds and lakes.


A pond is a body of water shallow enough to support rooted plants. They may arise naturally in floodplains as part of a river system, or be somewhat isolated depressions. 

Unlike lakes ponds usually have consistent temperatures throughout the year. They are shallow and small enough to allow sunlight to shine to the bottom, allowing photosynthesis and so typically contain marsh and aquatic plants and animals.

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