Quantifying ecosystem services provided by depressional wetlands in the Upper Mississippi

Science Center Objects

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center has conducted multiple research efforts related to developing methodology for quantifying the environmental and societal services provided by prairie-pothole wetland ecosystems. In this effort, we are exploring the feasibility of applying methodologies similar to those developed wetland ecosystems within the Prairie Pothole Region to other landscapes where depressional wetlands exist. One of those landscapes is the watershed of the Upper Mississippi River. In this pilot effort, we are exploring the use of multiple models to quantify the effects of depressional wetlands in or adjacent to agricultural fields in a sub-watershed of the Upper Mississippi (i.e., the Des Moines watershed) on reducing nutrient flows from croplands. We are also exploring the multiple effects of these cropland-embedded wetlands on the provisioning of habitat and other ecosystem services valued by society and how this additional information can be used in evaluations of nutrient flows to Mississippi River and ultimately Gulf of Mexico ecosystems.