|MILLER, JARROD - University Of Maryland|
|HUNT, PATRICK - Retired ARS Employee|
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/27/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Over the past several decades there has been considerable effort to protect and restore wetlands throughout the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) is a multi-agency effort to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practices. The Mid-Atlantic Region (MIAR) CEAP wetland study is one of five regional studies undertaken as part of the national effort. This project assessed various wetland functions and services for natural, converted, and restored wetlands in the region. Our efforts have focused on two regions along the Mid-Atlantic coast: the Ultisols of the DelMarVa coastal plain; and the organic soils of the North Carolina (NC) coastal plain. These studies took place at over 60 sites, and looked at natural wetlands, converted croplands, and hydrologically restored wetlands. Our objectives in these studies were twofold: (1) to determine the levels of denitrification enzyme activity within the soils of these wetlands; and (2) quantify the abundance of the gene nosZ, which encodes the enzyme responsible for the reduction of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide to nitrogen. Our results demonstrate that restored wetland areas have different responses to restoration between the two regions, with denitrification enzyme activities significantly lower than both converted croplands and natural wetlands in the NC coastal plain, but similar to natural wetlands in the DelMarVa coastal plain. A similar pattern emerged with nosZ gene abundances. These results reveal microbial communities in potential flux after hydrological restoration from a previous agricultural setting.