1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Assist NRCS in providing science-based data, results, and information to routinely inform conservation decisions affecting wetland ecosystems and the services they provide. Assist NRCS in developing a collaborative foundation that facilitates the production and delivery of scientific data, results, and information.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
The funds used for in-house efforts will focus on assessments of denitrification in the wetland sites. The denitrification enzyme assays will be done on the approximately 60 evaluation sites. Greenhouse gas chamber analyses will be done on a select number of sites via a static chamber and a photoacoustic analyzer. The East Carolina effort will be done via an SCA focused on a site rating system. The Mitchell Ecology effort will be done via an SCA focused on amphibian evaluations. In both cases, the SCA evaluations will consider potential connections with the conditions for and the level of denitrification.
3. Progress Report
This research relates to the inhouse objective: To obtain knowledge and develop tools that will enable planners, decision makers, and producers to more effectively manage, conserve, and protect water resources. In the last several decades, there has been considerable effort to protect and restore wetlands throughout the USA. These efforts required significant investments of both private and public funds. Accordingly, it has become important to document the effectiveness of this protection and restoration. The mid-Atlantic wetland assessment project is part of the Conservation Effectiveness Assessment Program (CEAP) of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. One of the important functions of wetlands are the conversion of excess nitrogen into N2 via denitrification. This project assesses soil denitrification. The objective was to determine 1) the level of denitrification enzyme activity in the surface soils of natural, converted, and restored wetlands within the project area and 2) to determine if the level of DEA varied with landscape position. In the initial phase of the project 31-soils from wetland sites were sampled in 4 wetness-varying landscape positions in wetlands from New Jersey to North Carolina. Based on these initial data, the wetland types did not statistically differ in DEA. However, there were differences in DEA among the soils from different landscape positions. The wettest sites had the highest mean rates of DEA. Project is monitored via planning meetings and site selection visits.