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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS FOR THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS Title: Wetland Ecosystem Services Vary With Climate for Prairie Pothole Landscapes

Authors
item Phillips, Beckie
item Beeri, Ofer - UNIV OF ND,GRAND FORKS,ND
item Pool, Duane - THE NATURE CONSERVANCY

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 2009
Publication Date: June 22, 2009
Citation: Phillips, B.L., Beeri, O., Pool, D. 2009. Wetland Ecosystem Services Vary With Climate for Prairie Pothole Landscapes. Meeting Abstract.

Technical Abstract: Hydrology is the primary mechanism for the cyclic vegetation dynamics collectively known as the wetland cover cycle, which drives ecosystem services for the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). These palustrine, depressional basin waters vacillate with regional drought and deluge, so surface water fluctuations modulate wetland productivity, habitat, and water quality. The wetland cover cycle is described as a successive progression of stages, from high water during deluges (lake marsh stage) to low water and drying during droughts (dry marsh stage) that occurs on decadal time-scales or longer. Cover cycle stage is a defining parameter fundamental to wetland ecosystem services. However, determining and analyzing cover cycle dynamics are problematic because the region is vast (879,000 km2), the average wetland basin is small (5 ha), wetland density is high (7 wetlands km2), and water levels respond rapidly to changes in weather. Here, we present how optical and digital elevation model data can be modeled to map PPR wetland cover cycle using ten years of Landsat imagery. We show how these cover cycle data might be used to evaluate wetland services at a watershed scale in the context of long-term climatic variability. Preliminary results indicate wetland ecosystem services for agricultural landscapes in the PPR: (1) vary according to landscape position, (2) vary according to cover cycle return time, and (3) vary with upland land use. Results suggest spatially explicit models indicating potential ecosystem services are needed to separate effects of climate from effects of agricultural land use.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014