Ecosystem Services from Moist-Soil Wetland Management

Author(s): Spencer, A.; Kaminski, R.; D'Abramo, L.; Avery, J.; Kroger, R.

Moist-soil wetlands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) are dewatered in spring through summer to promote production of grasses, sedges, and other herbaceous vegetation which are prolific producers of seeds and tubers for migrating and wintering waterfowl. Moist-soil wetlands are also potential sites for production and harvest of native crayfish (Procambarus spp.). Harvests of crayfish for human consumption in the United States amounts to $115 million annually. In springs 2009 and 2010, we harvested crayfish from moist-soil wetlands in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. We harvested 92.2 kg of crayfish over 1,298 net nights in 2009 and 94.3 kg over 2,005 net nights in 2010. Mean daily harvest of crayfish from moist-soil wetlands was 1.75 kg/ha (CV = 16%, n = 9) in 2009, 1.25 kg/ha (CV = 17%, n = 13) in 2010, and 1.56 (CV = 13%, n = 22) for years combined. Whereas these yields are lower than reported for Louisiana cultured crayfish (i.e., 10 kg/ha), the economic value of native crayfish harvested from moist-soil wetlands may be significant to landowners considering the practice neither requires planting a forage crop for crayfish nor their capture and transport to rice fields. Additionally, within the MAV, strategic location of moist-soil wetlands amid farmed landscapes can reduce dispersal of sediments and other nutrients into surrounding watersheds. In July 2010, we installed water quality monitoring stations at six moist-soil wetlands and six adjacent agriculture fields in the Mississippi portion of the MAV. We will present preliminary estimates and comparisons of concentrations (mg L-1) and loads (kg) of nitrate, NO3--N; nitrite, NO2--N; ammonium, NH4+-N; total phosphorus, TP; total dissolved phosphorus, TDP; particulate phosphorus, PP and; total suspended solids, TSS exported from moist-soil wetlands and agriculture fields. Quantifying these ancillary ecosystem services of moist-soil wetlands will encourage further establishment and management of these wetlands in the MAV and elsewhere for wildlife and associated environmental benefits.

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Technical Sessions

Session I Sedimentation
Session II Weather/Climate
Session III Coastal Resources
Session IV Surface Water Management
Session V Wetlands
Session VI Education
Session VII Management/Planning
Session VIII Wetlands
Session IX Delta Groundwater
Session X Nutrients
Session XI Delta Water Resources
Session XII Ports

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