Submitted to: Society of Wetland Scientists
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2004
Publication Date: 7/15/2004
Citation: Herbert, R., Baldwin, A.H., McCarty, G.W. 2004. Biomass and nutrients in leaf litter from forested riparian wetlands in agricultural and non-agricultural settings [abstract]. Society of Wetland Scientists. CS-6.7. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Agricultural inputs of nutrients may alter biomass production and nutrient cycling in riparian wetlands. The objectives of this project were to determine if excess nutrients from agricultural fields were affecting nutrient concentrations and biomass production of tree litter in a riparian wetland system and whether litter nutrient concentrations changed during senescence. Two forested riparian wetland sites were studied, one surrounded by agricultural fields and the other in a non-agricultural environment. Six 20 X 20 m plots were set up at each site and two 1 m^2 leaf traps were placed within each of these plots. Samples were collected weekly, dried, weighed, and analyzed for phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon. No significant differences between the two sites were found in the litter biomass and both carbon and nitrogen concentrations. However, phosphorus concentrations in litter from the wetland receiving agricultural runoff were significantly higher than in litter from the non-agricultural wetland. Furthermore, litter phosphorus concentration decreased during the senescence period at both sites. These results suggest that the excess nutrients in the agricultural runoff may be increasing the cycling of phosphorus through the wetland.