Wetlands (WETLANDS )

Publisher: Society of Wetland Scientists (U.S.)


Wetlands is an international journal concerned with all aspects of wetlands biology, ecology, hydrology, water chemistry, soil and sediment characteristics, management, and laws and regulations. The journal is published quarterly, with the goal of centralizing the publication of pioneering wetlands work that is otherwise spread among a myriad of journals. Since wetlands research usually requires an interdisciplinary approach, the journal in not limited to specific disciplines but seeks manuscripts reporting research results from all relevant disciplines. Journal of The Society of Wetland Scientists.

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    Wetlands (Wilmington, N. C.: Online), Wetlands
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Land reclamation directly changes the local coastal morphology, causing potential ecological consequences. To quantify how land reclamation influences the shoreline change, we employed shape entropy, in addition to traditional parameters, including shoreline length, land area change rate, and fractal dimension, extracted from SPOT satellite images from a number of representative years throughout two decades (1987–2012) to describe shoreline changes in Yangtze River Estuary, China. The vegetation growth boundary, representing the nearshore vegetation distribution as an ecological indicator, was also extracted and compared with the shoreline result. This comparison indicated that both vegetation growth boundary and shoreline evolve in a more complex and yet more orderly pattern partly because of land reclamation. Vegetation growth boundary changes more dramatically than shoreline, due to the combined effects of agricultural development and artificial beach nourishment, as well as the alternation of tidal creeks. These results have important implications for coastal wetland conservation and utilization in regions with intensive land reclamation such as the Yangtze River Estuary.
    Wetlands 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The black needlerush (Juncus roemerianus) is a common plant species in saltmarshes of the Gulf of Mexico. Our knowledge of the trophic fate of the plant’s productivity, which is important for an understanding of marsh functionality, is incomplete. Here we examine the productivity and trophic fate (herbivory, decomposition and biomass storage) of two black needlerush-dominated marshes in the northern Gulf of Mexico. We also investigate the effects of low intensity, short duration (1.5 years) nutrient inputs. The marshes experienced low rates of leaf herbivory and decomposition, thereby leaving most leaf production available for storage in the marsh or export to other systems. The marshes also featured large pools of belowground biomass, which indicates an important role as carbon reservoirs. Our nutrient inputs did not affect significantly the plant’s productivity and trophic fate. These results suggest black needlerush marshes may be resistant to low intensity, short-term nutrient inputs. However studies with other marsh plants have shown that longer, more intense nutrient inputs may lead to larger and diverse effects on plant productivity and trophic fate. Establishing the nutrient dose rates at which significant impacts occur on plant productivity and trophic fate in these and other marshes deserves more research.
    Wetlands 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper proposes an integrated approach to the assessment of estuarine habitat suitability based on a fuzzy logic method. Specifically, fuzzy logic is used to construct the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) as a supplementary metric when field data is scarce. The HSI is used in turn to build the Habitat Aggregation Index (HAI) that considers the internal patches and fragmentation of the habitat. We applied the proposed tool to the Yellow River Estuary to demonstrate its implementation and efficacy. The habitat suitability of the estuary was evaluated under a host of scenarios with different terrain conditions to simulate the consequences of the long term land reclamation activities it has experienced during the past two decades. The findings indicate that from 1989 to 1999, the suitable habitat area (HSI ≥ 0.6) for jellyfish decreased by 2–6 % when flow was less than 500 m3/s, but increased 5–6.5 % when flow was greater than 800 m3/s. The suitable habitat area decreased by more than 30 % under the land reclamation that occurred from 1999 to 2009. The suitable habitat area for Chinese shrimp decreased by 9–13 % from 1989 to 1999 and 67–78 % from 1999 to 2009. Both the HAI of the habitat for jellyfish and Chinese shrimp decreased during 1989 to 1999 and then increased in 2009, indicating that the degree of habitat fragmentation that worsened under the reclamation during 1989–1999 was ameliorated during 1999–2009. This proposed approach provides a novel evaluation tool for habitat suitability in estuaries.
    Wetlands 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Wetland soils may act as sinks for phosphorus from agricultural soils but P sorption is sensitive to soil redox conditions. When soils become flooded and anoxic, FeIII is reduced and P sorption decreases. To get improved knowledge about the relationship between redox state and P solubility under field conditions, a grid of 4 × 5 sampling points laid out in an Fe-rich meadow soil bordering a Danish river were monitored during 11 weeks in the spring comprising in total five sampling dates. The redox state was quantified as the degree of Fe reduction (DRFe), i.e. percentage of soluble plus sorbed FeII to total pedogenic, non-silicate Fe. Average DRFe was highest (76 %) at beginning of April and decreased to 36 % within 9 weeks. The temporal and spatial variation of DRFe and the soil solution concentrations of Fe and P were high. Thus, average P in solution (Psol) ranged from 24 to 4 μM, closely correlated with average DRFe (R 2 = 0.83). Soils farthest away from the river drained first and hence exhibited the biggest change in DRFe and Psol over time. The study demonstrates the great spatial and temporal variability of redox state and P solubility in such wetlands. Some likely consequences of redox oscillations are indicated.
    Wetlands 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Vegetation patterns in salt marshes are largely based on elevation in relation to tidal flooding. In New England salt marshes, vegetation is distinctly zoned into species that occur in the high marsh (elevations above mean high tide) vs. those that reside in the low marsh (elevations below mean high tide). The extent and distribution of these species is responsive to changes in hydrology, particularly sea level rise. In this study, six salt marshes within Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS) were analyzed using a GIS-based mapping approach that utilized aerial images from 1984 and 2013. The results indicate that there have been highly variable amounts of change among marshes. There have been substantial losses of high marsh vegetation (>190 acres in total), while low marsh vegetation has exhibited large gains in some marshes and relatively minor losses in others with a total net gain of >131 acres. Because sea level rise appears to be outpacing vertical accretion, higher water levels in the near future could result in large vegetation shifts, which would translate to significant changes in marsh structure and function.
    Wetlands 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Effective monitoring requires clear questions and a well-designed sampling regime. However, objectives often evolve over time which can render the initial sampling design ineffective. Using a vegetation monitoring program employed in Newnes Plateau Shrub Swamps, Australia, as a case study, we examine a sampling design based on small numbers of 400 m2 plots to assess if it can meet the stated monitoring objectives of detecting significant changes in number and abundance of species per wetland. To determine this, we intensively sampled four monitored wetlands using randomly distributed 4 m2 plots to obtain representative estimates of species composition and abundance. The 400 m2 plots captured 91 % of the common species and a similar proportional distribution of lifeforms as found in the 4 m2 plots, but missed 62 % of the sparse species found in 4 m2 plots. Insufficient replication of 400 m2 plots made detection of statistically significant changes at the swamp scale difficult or impossible. Our review showed the weak sampling design was contributed to by 1) an initial lack of clearly stated management triggers and 2) changes in monitoring objectives and triggers over time, without revising the sampling design. We highlight the need for an adaptive approach to monitoring.
    Wetlands 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Agricultural activities are major sources of non-point pollutants causing eutrophication. Vegetated constructed wetlands are used as a best management practice for sequestration of nutrients from agricultural runoff. However, plants release nutrients back into the system as they decompose after senescence, affecting the nutrient removal efficiency of a constructed wetland. This information is important for a focused selection of plants and for improving the effectiveness of a constructed wetland. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to study the release of phosphorus by common freshwater macrophytes - Juncus effusus, Carex lurida and Dichanthelium acuminatum var. acuminatum during plant decomposition. Microcosms with the mixed culture of these three species showed higher phosphorus retention rates compared to monoculture microcosms. Results indicate that plant species differ in their nutrient removal efficiencies when grown in the mixed culture compared to monoculture treatments, indicating that nutrient removal efficiencies vary with plant species composition. Thus, plant species may play an important role in determining the phosphorus removal rates of vegetated constructed wetlands.
    Wetlands 10/2014; 34(6):1191.
  • Wetlands 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Wetland hydroperiod consists of different components, including frequency, duration and depth. A significant proportion of the seasonally flood-pulsed Okavango Delta is inundated for part of each year. Variation in hydroperiod, driven by the interaction of climate and ecological factors, results in a mosaic of vegetation communities. These communities are highly dynamic over temporal and spatial scales. This study aimed to identify quantitative relationships between hydroperiod components and floodplain vegetation, to better understand the potential effects of hydrological change. A stratified random sample of 30 floodplains was surveyed for species composition and abundance. Hydroperiod components for sample quadrats were estimated from remote sensing and field measurement. Ordination demonstrated strong correlations between species composition and flood frequency, duration, years-since-last-flood and depth. Eight statistically discrete vegetation communities were derived from cluster analysis. Generalized linear models of species distributions along hydrological gradients were used to derive frequency and duration optima. Means of these parameters differed significantly between communities. Increasing hydroperiod corresponded with a progression from grasslands through sedge-dominated to aquatic communities. Species in infrequently flooded areas indicated disturbance and a succession trend towards open woodland. In the sedgelands, average depth was the strongest correlate, while in grasslands and aquatic communities, this was duration.
    Wetlands 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In Nova Scotia, Blanding’s turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) exist in a disjunct population complex at the extreme northeastern area of the species range. Pleasant River Fen in southwestern Nova Scotia provides habitat for one group within the Nova Scotia population. A ca. 10,000-year multi-proxy record to determine environmental variability at Pleasant River Fen demonstrates that the wetland experienced fundamental physical changes in response to regional climate shifts. In particular, the observed increased influx of coarse minerogenic matter into the basin at 5,250 cal BP coincides with the late Holocene cooling. The presence of two prominent charcoal beds at 1,050 and 550 cal BP indicates that larger-scale fire events occurred across the wetland during the Medieval Climate Optimum, possibly due to declined moisture availability. The subsequent expansion of alder and peat moss likely suggests a return to wetter conditions during the Little Ice Age. The study at Pleasant River Fen provides a long-term baseline record on habitat availability for Blanding’s turtles. The results of the research suggest that despite climate-induced changes potential habitat persisted at Pleasant River Fen throughout the Holocene. However, fragmentation of the habitat and anthropogenic land use appear to have an influence on the local population dynamics of Blanding’s turtles.
    Wetlands 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Our objective was to evaluate the changes of mangrove forest coverage of Mexico and adjacent land cover types in the coastal zone between 1970 and 2005 by remote sensing techniques. Based on maps generated by the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO for its Spanish acronym), three land cover change indicators were estimated: net change, stability of location, and stability of residence. Analyses were made at national and regional (Northern Pacific, Central Pacific, Southern Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Yucatan Peninsula) scales, and for the 17 states presenting mangroves. At the national level during the studied period we observed a 10 % net loss of mangrove. At the state level, 13 states lost area, three gained area, and one showed no change in mangrove cover. According to the indicators of location stability and residence stability, the lowest values were recorded in four states within the Pacific Ocean coast (Jalisco, Colima, Guerrero, and Oaxaca), while the highest values corresponded to two states of the Gulf of Mexico (Tamaulipas and Tabasco). Many of the changes in mangrove cover we detected were attributed to crop and animal husbandry activities, and to anthropic infrastructure.
    Wetlands 08/2014; 34(4):747-758.