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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Managing Water Availability and Quality to Maintain Or Increase Agricultural Production, Conserve Natural Resources, and Enhance Environment

Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research

Title: Greenhouse gas emissions from natural, restored, and prior-converted wetlands of the Mid-Atlantic

item Miller, Jarrod
item Hunt, Patrick
item Ducey, Thomas

Submitted to: Ecological Society of America Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 16, 2012
Publication Date: June 3, 2012
Citation: Miller, J.O., Hunt, P.G., Ducey, T.F. 2012. Greenhouse gas emissions from natural, restored, and prior-converted wetlands of the Mid-Atlantic [abstract]. Ecological Society of America Abstracts.

Technical Abstract: The hydrologic restoration of drained agricultural wetlands may impact greenhouse gases, particularly nitrous oxide emissions. Assessment of this impact was part of the Natural Resource Conservation Service Mid-Atlantic Regional Conservation Effects Assessment Program (MIAR-CEAP), with sample sites in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. For this study, twelve MIAR-CEAP sites (four natural, four restored, and four prior-converted wetlands) were selected. Each site had a four-point transect along a topographic gradient and was visited three times. Soil samples were obtained from the upper 6 inches of the soil and taken back to the lab for denitrification enzyme activity analysis. A photoacoustic gas analyzer was used to measure in-situ greenhouse gas emissions in the field. The flux of nitrous oxide from the soils was within the typical range -- below detection to 6 milligrams of nitrous oxide/kilogram of soil/day. The emissions that were below detection were during dry periods of the study. Some hot spots were observed in prior converted wetlands, with nitrous oxide emissions up to 120 milligrams of nitrous oxide/kilogram of soil/day. Initial data indicates that nitrous oxide emissions did not vary greatly between the different land uses, but greater emissions were observed in the wetter landscape positions.

Last Modified: 8/31/2015
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