Clockwise from top left: Pine Barrens treefrog calling, 2007 aerial photograph view of Huge Pond, on-ground view of Skeleton Pond, and floating heart blooming
Shallow wetland depressions containing intermittent ponds occur throughout the Pinelands. These pond habitats usually dry late in the growing season, contain aquatic and wetland vegetation, and can support rare plants, such as floating heart, and rare amphibians, such as the Pine Barrens treefrog. Although research conducted by the Pinelands Commission and others has demonstrated that watershed-wide developed and agricultural land uses are linked to elevated pH and specific conductance values and the invasion of non-native plants and animals in Pinelands streams and impoundments (see Watershed Studies), the impact of these land uses on the ecological integrity of off-stream wetlands, such as intermittent Pinelands ponds, has not been well documented. In late 2011, the Commission received an Environmental Protection Agency grant to assess water-quality and hydrologic conditions and survey plant, frog and toad, and dragonfly and damselfly assemblages in Pinelands ponds to characterize the geographic extent and magnitude of land-use impacts on these habitats.