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 project is related to inhouse objective 3: Develop practices or technologies that enhance denitrification in riparian buffers and wetlands for improving water quality in streams. The field sampling for denitrification enzyme analysis (DEA) was completed in June 2011 for the Natural Resources Conservation Service Mid-Atlantic Conservation Effects Assessment Project. The project assessed three types of wetlands: 1) currently in agricultural use, 2) restored wetlands formerly in agricultural production, and 3) natural sites. Sites were sampled from the eastern shore of Maryland down into the Pocosin Region of North Carolina. Initial analyses of the data indicate that the nitrogen cycling via denitrification varied with the amount of disturbance from the natural wetland state. The natural wetlands generally had higher DEA. However, they also had the highest percentage of incomplete denitrification with its production of nitrous oxide.