Nutrient Characteristics of Moist-Soil Wetlands in Agriculture Landscapes

Author(s): Alford, A.; Kröger, R.; Kaminski, R.

In the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV), significant improvements in wetland management strategies have increased the availability of food for wintering waterfowl. Through seasonal drawdown and flooding schedules, moist-soil wetland management encourages growth of annual seed-producing grasses and sedges. Whereas the ecological importance of this conservation strategy is widely known, other environmental benefits, including its effect on water quality, are little understood. To quantify the nutrient exports from these wetlands and therefore explore their potential to improve downstream water quality in the MAV, we implemented a study to compare effluent water quality from runoff events from 5 spatially paired moist-soil wetlands and agriculture fields in Mississippi MAV during October 2010-March 2012. We measured concentrations (mg L-1) of nitrate, NO3-; nitrite, NO2-; ammonium, NH4+; total phosphorus, TP; total dissolved phosphorus, TDP; particulate phosphorus, PP and; total suspended solids, TSS. Mean concentrations of NO3- , TP, PP, and TSS were 91%, 37%, 49%, and 83% lower (P<0.005) in effluent from wetlands than agricultural fields, respectively. Loads (kg) of nutrients discharged from wetlands will be calculated and used to evaluate how moist-soil wetlands in the LMAV aid in meeting Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico nutrient reduction goals.
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Technical Sessions

1 Best Management Practices #1
2 Delta Water Assessment
3 Flood Assessment & Mgmt.
4 Wetlands
5 Watershed Mgmt. #1
6 Non-Point Source Assessment
7 Modeling
8 Water Quality
9 Best Mgt. Practices #2
10 Delta Water Conservation
11 Sedimentation
12 Storm Water
13 Watershed Mgt. #2
14 Public Water Systems
15 Surface Water Assessment & Evaluation

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