Mechanisms, methods, models and management of soil biogeochemical processes in prairie-pothole wetlands

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Previous work has shown that Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) wetlands are biogeochemical hotspots, with rapid turnover and transport rates of greenhouse gases (GHG). However, mechanisms controlling GHG fluxes are not well understood, leading to high uncertainty in model estimates of these processes. Additionally, unprecedented changes to land-use and cover in the PPR have potential to alter hydrology and water quality of wetlands, impacting biogeochemical processes. Management, restoration, and protection efforts require that information gaps on the controls of these processes be addressed to refine model estimates. The focus of this study is to 1) understand the abiotic and biotic factors that regulate GHG fluxes, 2) advance technology and methodologies for measuring GHG fluxes, and ultimately 3) develop spatially-explicit landscape-scale models of GHG fluxes from the PPR. In developing these models, we will be able to predict wetland responses to future changes in climate, hydrology, land use and land management. These results will be used to inform Department of Interior conservation and management strategies that reduce GHG emissions and facilitate GHG sequestration and storage.