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A Biogeochemical Survey of Wetlands in Southwestern Indiana A Biogeochemical Survey of Wetlands in Southwestern Indiana David A. Stuckey University of.

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Presentation on theme: "A Biogeochemical Survey of Wetlands in Southwestern Indiana A Biogeochemical Survey of Wetlands in Southwestern Indiana David A. Stuckey University of."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Biogeochemical Survey of Wetlands in Southwestern Indiana A Biogeochemical Survey of Wetlands in Southwestern Indiana David A. Stuckey University of Florida 2005 David A. Stuckey University of Florida 2005

2 Wetland Functions and Benefits Water Resources Water Resources Flood Control: Flood Control: Water storage Water storage Reduce flow velocity and dampen peaks or runoff Reduce flow velocity and dampen peaks or runoff Water Quality: Water Quality: Absorb excess organic and inorganic nutrients from fertilizer and septic system runoff Absorb excess organic and inorganic nutrients from fertilizer and septic system runoff Filter sediments and trap pollutants such as pesticides and metals, for storage or recycling within the wetland system Filter sediments and trap pollutants such as pesticides and metals, for storage or recycling within the wetland system

3 Wetland Functions and Benefits Biological/Ecological Biological/Ecological Erosion Control Erosion Control Roots bind soil, vegetation absorbs wave energy Roots bind soil, vegetation absorbs wave energy Fisheries Fisheries Habitat and food sources Habitat and food sources Spawning and nursery grounds Spawning and nursery grounds Wildlife Wildlife ~900 vertebrate species require wetlands during some period in their life cycles ~900 vertebrate species require wetlands during some period in their life cycles

4 Wetland Functions and Benefits Biological/Ecological Biological/Ecological Wildlife Wildlife Principal habitat for waterfowl and other birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians Principal habitat for waterfowl and other birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians Excellent habitat for non-wetland-dependent species Excellent habitat for non-wetland-dependent species ~35% of all rare and endangered species wetland- dependent ~35% of all rare and endangered species wetland- dependent Recreation Recreation 75,000 user days/year in Indiana by duck and goose hunters 75,000 user days/year in Indiana by duck and goose hunters >1,000,000 user days/year of non-consumptive recreation >1,000,000 user days/year of non-consumptive recreation

5 Wetlands Lost

6 Major Causes of Wetland Loss and Degradation Human Actions Human Actions - Drainage - Dredging/Stream Channelization - Deposition of fill material - Diking and damming - Tiling for crop production - Levees - Logging - Mining - Construction - Runoff - Air and water pollutants - Changing nutrient levels - Releasing toxic chemicals - Introducing nonnative species - Grazing by domestic animals - Drainage - Dredging/Stream Channelization - Deposition of fill material - Diking and damming - Tiling for crop production - Levees - Logging - Mining - Construction - Runoff - Air and water pollutants - Changing nutrient levels - Releasing toxic chemicals - Introducing nonnative species - Grazing by domestic animals Natural Disturbance - Erosion - Subsidence - Sea level rise - Droughts - Hurricanes and other storms

7 Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge protects one of the most significant bottomland hardwood forests remaining in the Midwest.

8 The Landscape: Row Crops, Pasture, Livestock

9 Forestry

10 Coal Mining

11 Background Nutrient concentration levels play a critical role in the integrity and functionality of wetlands. Nutrient concentration levels play a critical role in the integrity and functionality of wetlands. To fully assess the status and condition of wetland ecosystems, knowledge of nutrient flow and cycling is required. To fully assess the status and condition of wetland ecosystems, knowledge of nutrient flow and cycling is required. Although water quality nutrient data is readily available for many water bodies, there is limited information regarding nutrient concentrations in wetlands especially within the soil and vegetation at wetland sites. Although water quality nutrient data is readily available for many water bodies, there is limited information regarding nutrient concentrations in wetlands especially within the soil and vegetation at wetland sites.

12 Background 1972 Clean Water Act required states to establish designated uses for water bodies, and to establish protective criteria for those uses Clean Water Act required states to establish designated uses for water bodies, and to establish protective criteria for those uses Clean Water Action Plan required states to establish numeric nutrient criteria instead of narrative criteria Clean Water Action Plan required states to establish numeric nutrient criteria instead of narrative criteria.

13 Background EPA would like to recommend numeric criteria be set at the ecoregion level, however some ecoregions cover broad latitude and longitudinal areas. EPA would like to recommend numeric criteria be set at the ecoregion level, however some ecoregions cover broad latitude and longitudinal areas. In addition, wetland strata most representative of nutrient condition across these broad regional scales is unknown. In addition, wetland strata most representative of nutrient condition across these broad regional scales is unknown.

14 U.S. EPA Ecoregions

15 Southern Temperate Forests Plains and Hills (IX) Southern Coastal Plain (XII) Eastern Coastal Plain (XIV) Ecoregions IX, XII and XIV

16 Rationale To address this need for consistency and comparability in the reporting data, as well as establishment of numeric criteria, an EPA- funded project, Southeastern Wetlands Biogeochemical Survey, was conducted. To address this need for consistency and comparability in the reporting data, as well as establishment of numeric criteria, an EPA- funded project, Southeastern Wetlands Biogeochemical Survey, was conducted. A biogeochemical survey of wetlands of Southwestern Indiana was conducted as a geographical subset. A biogeochemical survey of wetlands of Southwestern Indiana was conducted as a geographical subset.

17 Objectives Survey dominant wetland types in Southwestern Indiana Survey dominant wetland types in Southwestern Indiana Evaluate appropriate aggregation of wetland communities Evaluate appropriate aggregation of wetland communities Determine which sampling strata (water, litter, soil, vegetation) is most responsive to nutrient enrichment. Determine which sampling strata (water, litter, soil, vegetation) is most responsive to nutrient enrichment. Contrast Indiana reference wetlands to Southeastern US wetlands in Ecoregion IX to determine validity of a single numeric criteria. Contrast Indiana reference wetlands to Southeastern US wetlands in Ecoregion IX to determine validity of a single numeric criteria.

18 Sample Site Selection Southwestern Indiana Wetland Biogeochemical Survey Southwestern Indiana Wetland Biogeochemical Survey Southeastern U.S. Wetlands Biogeochemical Survey Southeastern U.S. Wetlands Biogeochemical Survey Hydrologic Connectivity Hydrologic Connectivity Riparian Riparian Non-Riparian Non-Riparian Vegetative Classification Vegetative Classification Swamp Swamp Marsh Marsh Nutrient Condition Nutrient Condition Impacted Impacted Least-Impacted Least-Impacted

19 Hydrologic Connectivity Wetlands were distinguished by hydrologic connectivity, as riparian or non-riparian. Wetlands were distinguished by hydrologic connectivity, as riparian or non-riparian. If the wetland perimeter was located within 40 meters of an adjacent stream or river, it was classified as riparian. If the wetland perimeter was located within 40 meters of an adjacent stream or river, it was classified as riparian.

20 Vegetative Classification Based on the dominant vegetative community, sites were divided into swamps or marshes. Based on the dominant vegetative community, sites were divided into swamps or marshes. Swamps were characterized by woody vegetation at least six meters in height. Swamps were characterized by woody vegetation at least six meters in height. Marshes were typically emergent wetlands with erect, rooted, herbaceous hydrophytes present Marshes were typically emergent wetlands with erect, rooted, herbaceous hydrophytes present

21 Vegetative Classification Riparian Swamp Non-Riparian Swamp Non-Riparian Marsh

22 Vegetative Classification Riparian Swamp Non-Riparian Swamp Non-Riparian Marsh

23 Sampling Site Selection Wetland sampling sites were identified by: Wetland sampling sites were identified by: Topographical and Aerial Maps Topographical and Aerial Maps USFWS National Wetlands Inventory Database USFWS National Wetlands Inventory Database Indiana Geological Survey’s GIS Atlas. Indiana Geological Survey’s GIS Atlas. In consultation with: In consultation with: Natural resource professionals from the USFWS Natural resource professionals from the USFWS Indiana DNR Indiana DNR Indiana Chapter of the Nature Conservancy Indiana Chapter of the Nature Conservancy

24 ImpactedLeastImpacted Riparian Swamp 32 Riparian Marsh 00 Non riparian Swamp 16 Non riparian Marsh 13 Wetland Community Types Surveyed in Southwest Indiana

25 Sampling Sites in Southwestern Indiana

26 Ecoregion IX Riparian Swamp 40 Riparian Marsh 4 Non riparian Swamp 14 Non riparian Marsh 3 Wetland Community Types Surveyed in the Southeastern United States (Greco 2004.) (Paris 2005).

27 Impacted sites = 94 Least impacted = 115 Eastern Coastal Plain (XIV) Southern Costal Plain (XII) Southeastern Forested Plain (IX) Southeastern Wetland Biogeochemical Survey

28 Distribution of Sampling Sites in Both Surveys

29 Site Sampling Sites were surveyed for twenty biogeochemical indicators including plant, litter, soil and water column nutrient parameters. Sites were surveyed for twenty biogeochemical indicators including plant, litter, soil and water column nutrient parameters. An adjacent land use assessment was conducted prior to sampling. An adjacent land use assessment was conducted prior to sampling. Based on characterization of adjacent land use, the wetlands were classified as impacted or least-impacted. Based on characterization of adjacent land use, the wetlands were classified as impacted or least-impacted.

30 “Reference” Wetlands Recognizing that all wetlands are impacted by anthropogenic activities to some degree, it was presumed that the least-impacted sites would represent a reference condition that was not significantly disturbed such that the ecological integrity of the site is unimpaired. Recognizing that all wetlands are impacted by anthropogenic activities to some degree, it was presumed that the least-impacted sites would represent a reference condition that was not significantly disturbed such that the ecological integrity of the site is unimpaired. These reference, or least impacted wetlands can be used to define EPA’s numeric nutrient criteria. These reference, or least impacted wetlands can be used to define EPA’s numeric nutrient criteria.

31 Sampling Scheme Three Transects Three Transects Transect A (inner wetland) Transect A (inner wetland) Transect B (outer wetland Transect B (outer wetland Upland Upland Composite Sampling Composite Sampling Three samples into one sample/transect Three samples into one sample/transect Vegetation Sampling Vegetation Sampling Throughout wetland Throughout wetland

32 Sampling Scheme A1A1 A2A2 A3A3 B1B1 B3B3 B2B2 Upland Edge Center (a) A B1B1 Uplan d River Center Edge Ecotone (not sampled) Upland Center B) Small non-riparian C) Large non-riverine A) Riparian B2B2 B3B3 A1A1 A2A2 A3A3 A1A1 A2A2 A3A3 B3B3 B2B2 B1B1 Edge

33 Sampled Strata Water Water Grab sample (if present) Grab sample (if present) Soil Soil Top 10 cm of Soil Top 10 cm of Soil Litter Litter Grab sample Grab sample Vegetation Vegetation Sampled by species presence Sampled by species presence

34 Laboratory Analysis All samples shipped to Wetland Biogeochemical Laboratory for analysis All samples shipped to Wetland Biogeochemical Laboratory for analysis Soil Soil Total Phosphorus (TP), Total Nitrogen (TN), Total Carbon (TC) Total Phosphorus (TP), Total Nitrogen (TN), Total Carbon (TC) Litter Litter TP, TN, TC TP, TN, TC Vegetation Vegetation TP, TN, TC TP, TN, TC Water Water TP, TN TP, TN

35 Objective 1 (Results) Evaluate appropriate aggregation of wetland communities:

36 Water Column Total Phosphorus Total Nitrogen Wetlands Classification Mean + 1SD mg/l mg/l----- Mean + 1SD mg/l---- All Wetlands Hydrologic Riparian a a Non-Riparian a a Vegetative Swamp a a Marsh a a Community Type Riparian Swamp a a Non-Riparian Swamp a a Non-Riparian Marsh a a Significant differences determined by Tukey’s HSD at  = 0.05 No significant differences in water column TN or TP among the aggregation

37 Litter Total Phosphorus Total Nitrogen Wetlands Classification Mean + 1SD Mean + 1SD %----- Mean + 1SD % ---- All Wetlands Hydrologic Riparian a a Non-Riparian a a Vegetative Swamp a a Marsh a a Community Type Riparian Swamp a a Non-Riparian Swamp a a Non-Riparian Marsh b a Significant differences determined by Tukey’s HSD at  = 0.05 Significant differences were found between riparian and non-riparian TP

38 Soil Total Phosphorus Total Nitrogen Wetlands Classification Mean + 1SD Mean + 1SD % %----- Mean + 1SD %---- All Wetlands Hydrologic Riparian a a Non-Riparian a b Vegetative Swamp a a Marsh a a Community Type Riparian Swamp a a Non-Riparian Swamp a b Non-Riparian Marsh a b Significant differences determined by Tukey’s HSD at  = 0.05 Significant differences were found between riparian and non-riparian TN

39 Vegetation Total Phosphorus Total Nitrogen Wetlands Classification Mean + 1SD % %----- Mean + 1SD %---- All Wetlands a a Hydrologic Riparian a a Non-Riparian a a Vegetative Swamp a a Marsh a a Community Type Riparian Swamp a a Non-Riparian Swamp a a Non-Riparian Marsh a a Significant differences determined by Tukey’s HSD at  = 0.05 No significant differences were found in TN and TP

40 Objective 1 (Conclusions) Based on the results for water column or vegetation nutrient indicators, separation by wetland community type does not appear to be required for assessment. Based on the results for water column or vegetation nutrient indicators, separation by wetland community type does not appear to be required for assessment. For litter TP, a distinction should be considered between riparian and non-riparian wetlands. For litter TP, a distinction should be considered between riparian and non-riparian wetlands. For soil TN, a distinction should be considered between riparian and non-riparian wetlands. For soil TN, a distinction should be considered between riparian and non-riparian wetlands.

41 Objective 2 (Results) Determine which sampling strata (water, litter, soil or vegetation) is most responsive to nutrient enrichment :

42 Nutrient Indicator Strata StrataNutrient Least Impacted Impacted Water P % N % Litter P % N % Soil P % * N % * Vegetation P % N % Wetland Nutrient Condition There were no significant differences in water column TP or TN. There were no significant differences in litter TP or TN There were no significant differences in vegetation TP or TN There were significant differences in soil TP or TN.

43 Objective 2 (Conclusions) Based on the results, water column, litter and vegetation samples analyzed for TP and TN do not indicate nutrient enrichment in wetlands. Based on the results, water column, litter and vegetation samples analyzed for TP and TN do not indicate nutrient enrichment in wetlands. Only soils were able to distinguish between impacted and least-impacted wetlands. Only soils were able to distinguish between impacted and least-impacted wetlands.

44 Objective 3 (Results) Contrast SW Indiana reference wetlands to Southeastern US wetlands in Ecoregion IX to determine validity of a single numeric criteria:

45 Water Column Total Phosphorus b a a a IndianaAlabamaFloridaGeorgia Water column TP was significantly different

46 Water Column Total Nitrogen a a a a IndianaAlabamaFloridaGeorgia Water column TN was not significantly different

47 Litter Phosphorus a ab bc c c IndianaAlabamaFloridaGeorgiaSouth Carolina Litter TP was significantly different among some areas of ecoregion IX

48 Litter Nitrogen a b b bab IndianaAlabamaFloridaGeorgiaSouth Carolina Litter TN was significantly different with sites in the state of Florida

49 Vegetative Tissue Phosphorus a b b ab IndianaAlabamaFloridaGeorgiaSouth Carolina Vegetation TP was significantly different from sites in Florida

50 Vegetation Tissue Nitrogen a ab b b IndianaAlabamaFloridaGeorgiaSouth Carolina Vegetation TN was significantly different from sites in Florida

51 Soils Phosphorus a a b c b IndianaAlabamaFloridaGeorgiaSouth Carolina Soil phosphorus was significantly different among all areas of ecoregion IX

52 Soils Nitrogen a b ab IndianaAlabamaFloridaGeorgiaSouth Carolina Soil TN was not significantly different

53 Objective 3 (conclusions) Significant differences in total phosphorus concentrations in the water column, litter, and soil were noted between Least Impacted SW Indiana wetlands and Least Impacted SE U.S. wetlands within Ecoregion IX. Significant differences in total phosphorus concentrations in the water column, litter, and soil were noted between Least Impacted SW Indiana wetlands and Least Impacted SE U.S. wetlands within Ecoregion IX. The results imply that a single numeric criteria established for all wetlands within Ecoregion IX would likely be overly protective of SW Indiana wetlands. The results imply that a single numeric criteria established for all wetlands within Ecoregion IX would likely be overly protective of SW Indiana wetlands.

54 Implications for EPA in Establishment of Numeric Nutrient Criteria In Southwestern Indiana there does not appear to be a need to sub classify wetlands by hydrologic or vegetative community type to properly assess nutrient conditions. In Southwestern Indiana there does not appear to be a need to sub classify wetlands by hydrologic or vegetative community type to properly assess nutrient conditions. Soils appear to provide the most sensitive indicator of nutrient impacts to wetlands as compared to water, vegetation or litter. Soils appear to provide the most sensitive indicator of nutrient impacts to wetlands as compared to water, vegetation or litter. A single numeric criteria for ecoregion IX would either be overly protective or under protective of ecological integrity based on reference nutrient condition. A single numeric criteria for ecoregion IX would either be overly protective or under protective of ecological integrity based on reference nutrient condition.

55 Acknowledgements Committee: Mark W. Clark, PhD, Chair Ramesh Reddy, PhD Matt Cohen, PhD Colleagues: Jeremy Paris Stacie Greco UF Wetland Biogeochemical Laboratory My Wife and Sons: Sandra, Sam and Dean


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