Development and validation of wetland-connectivity indicators in the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region

Science Center Objects

We are working in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to (1) quantify cumulative effects of prairie-pothole wetlands on stream communities; (2) explore relationships between aquatic-system connectivity and genetic-, species-, and ecosystem-scale biological diversity at watershed and landscape scales; (3) develop mapping unit descriptors based on biotic community traits for ongoing hydrologic connectivity mapping efforts, and (4) facilitate data collection efforts associated with quantifications of watershed-scale hydrologic responses to the aggregate effects of prairie-pothole wetlands. This effort is also associated with a USGS Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis effort to develop aquatic system hydrological- and biological-connectivity maps for the nation. We also are exploring the wetland effects on freshwater mussel communities in streams and cascading environmental effects that result when mussel communities and associated “mussel beds” are degraded or lost.