|MUSHET, DAVID - Us Geological Survey (USGS)|
|LANG, MEGAN - Us Fish And Wildlife Service|
|SHAFFER, JILL - Us Geological Survey (USGS)|
|KAHARA, SHARON - Humboldt State University|
|JOHNSON, MARI-VAUGHN - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)|
Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2020
Publication Date: 10/6/2020
Citation: Williams, A.S., Mushet, D., Lang, M., McCarty, G.W., Shaffer, J.A., Kahara, S.N., Johnson, M.V., Kiniry, J.R. 2020. Improving the ability to include freshwater wetland plants in process-based models. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 75(6):704-712. https://doi.org/10.2489/jswc.2020.00089.
Interpretive Summary: There has been considerable effort to reduce negative environmental effects of crop production and in evaluating the benefits of conservation programs. Wetlands provide important ecosystem services, but little work has been done for modeling wetland plants. To more accurately simulate wetland plants in computer models, we collected plant growth data on five sampling sites. The data spanned five years. It was used for the ALMANAC (Agricultural Land Management Alternative with Numerical Assessment Criteria) computer model. We developed numbers for individual species and for groups of similar species. We simulated three sites. At each site, simulated plant yields were reasonable for individual species and for groups of species. Thus, this computer model accurately simulated wetland plants and will be useful for assessing conservation programs and practices associated with wetlands. Our improved plant parameters will be used by other computer models to simulate soil and water effects, facilitating wetland evaluations across the United States.
Technical Abstract: There has been much effort and resources allocated for conservation programs to alleviate negative environmental effects of crop production and into evaluating benefits of conservation programs. Wetlands provide important ecosystem services. However simulation modeling of wetland plants is an emerging science. Wetland plant growth has not been explicitly accounted for in ecosystem service models that quantify conservation program effects. To accurately simulate wetland plants, we expanded upon our plant growth data with additional sampling at two of four previously sampled areas, and included a fifth site. We then used data from the five sites spanning five years as wetland plant parameters for both individual species and for functional groups for the ALMANAC (Agricultural Land Management Alternative with Numerical Assessment Criteria) model. Functional groups represent a collection of species and are an alternative to simulating every species in an ecosystem. ALMANAC simulated three sites for individual species and functional groups. Simulated plant yields were similar to measured values. Functional groups performed as well as individual species simulations. Plant growth is a major component of these wetland ecosystems and ALMANAC verified wetland plant parameters support more accurate assessments of conservation programs in wetland ecosystems. The improved plant parameters provided here will be used in other process-based models to simulate other ecosystem components across the United States.