North American Analysis and Synthesis on the Connectivity of "Geographically Isolated Wetlands" to Downstream Waters

Science Center Objects

Geographically Isolated Wetlands (GIWs) occur along gradients of hydrologic and ecological connectivity and isolation, even within wetland types (e.g., forested, emergent marshes) and functional classes (e.g., ephemeral systems, permanent systems, etc.). Within a given watershed, the relative positions of wetlands and open-waters along these gradients influence the type and magnitude of their ...

Geographically Isolated  Wetlands (GIWs) occur along gradients of hydrologic and ecological connectivity and isolation, even within wetland types (e.g., forested, emergent marshes) and functional classes (e.g., ephemeral systems, permanent systems, etc.). Within a given watershed, the relative positions of wetlands and open-waters along these gradients influence the type and magnitude of their chemical, physical, and biological effects on downgradient waters. In addition, the ways in which GIWs connect to the broader hydrological landscape, and the effects of such connectivity on downgradient waters, depends largely upon climate, geology, and relief, the heterogeneity of which expands with increasing scale. Developing an understanding of connectivity between and among uplands, wetlands, and downgradient waters, as well as ascertaining the influence of climate, geology, relief, spatial distribution, and other phenomena on connectivity has thus emerged as an important focal research area for science with significant implications for the integrity of aquatic systems. This proposal will organize a comparison and synthesis of GIW connectivity across regional landscapes in North America. The two primary objectives are to: (1) Quantify and model hydrological connectivity between GIWs, non-GIW systems, and downgradient surface waters across specific ecoregional, physiological, and/or physiographic provinces, and (2) Identify emergent properties of GIW connectivity across different landscape settings and scales to determine factors controlling connectivity, including climate, geology, and relief as well as the spatial distributions of GIWs. To reach these objectives, our working group will develop an organizing conceptual framework for the research that accounts for multiple dimensions of possible connectivity (e.g., longitudinal, lateral, vertical, and temporal) as well as landscape, soil, climatic, and other factors controlling connectivity across focal regions. We will use existing spatial datasets to develop and quantify novel spatial indicators of GIW connectivity on the landscape across different regions. We will further develop and apply geostatistical and hydrological modeling approaches to discern the controls on GIW connectivity and effects of this connectivity on downgradient hydrology. The results from this Powell Center working group will provide unique insights on the connectivity of GIWs and identify areas where additional scientific research is required to better understand these important components of the terrestrial and aquatic hydroscape.

Publications:

Golden, H.E., Creed, I.F., Ali, G., Basu, N.B., Neff, B.P, Rains, M.C.,McLaughlin, D.L., Alexander, L.C., Ameli, A.A., Christensen, J.R., Evenson, G.R., Jones, C.N., Lane, C.R., Lang, M. “Integrating Geographically Isolated Wetlands into Land Management Decisions.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, June 26, 2017. doi:10.1002/fee.1504. Click here to see a vlog about this paper.



Jones CN, Evenson GR, McLaughlin DL, et al. Estimating restorable wetland water storage at landscape scales. Hydrological Processes. 2017;1-9. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.11405



Lane, C. R., Leibowitz, S.G., Autrey, B.C., LeDuc, S.D., and Alexander, L.C. (2018). Hydrological, Physical, and Chemical Functions and Connectivity of Non‐Floodplain Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 54(2): 346-371. https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12633



Neff, B.P., Rosenberry, D.O., Leibowitz, S.G., Mushet, D.M., Golden, H.E., Rains, M.C., Brooks, J.R., and Lane, C.R., 2020, A hydrologic landscapes perspective on groundwater connectivity of depressional wetlands: Water, v. 12, no. 1, p. 50.



Mushet, D.M., L.C. Alexander, M. Bennett, K. Schofield, J.R. Christensen, G. Ali, A. Pollard, K. Fritz, and M.W. Lang. 2018. “Differing Modes of Biotic Connectivity within Freshwater Ecosystem Mosaics.” Journal of the American Water Resources Association 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12683.



Thorslund J, Cohen MJ, Jawitz JW, Destouni, G, Creed, IF, Rains, MC, Badiou, P, and Jerker, J. 2018. Solute evidence for hydrological connectivity of geographically isolated wetlands. Land Degrad Dev. 2018;1-9. https://doi.org/10.1002/ldr.3145



 

Principal Investigator(s):

David M Mushet (Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center)

Charles Lane (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Mark Rains (University of South Florida)

Scott Leibowitz (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Heather Golden (US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA))

Participant(s):

Laurie Alexander (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Genevieve Ali (University of Manitoba)

Nandita Basu (University of Waterloo)

Mark Bowen (University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh)

Jay Christensen (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Matt Cohen (University of Florida)

Irena Creed (University of Western Ontario)

Ellen D'Amico (Pegasus Technical Services, Inc.)

Megan Lang (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Daniel McLaughlin (Virginia Tech)

Donald O Rosenberry (USGS Branch of Regional Research, Central Region)

Jennifer Rover (Geographic Science Team, EROS)

Melanie K Vanderhoof (Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center)

Micah W Bennett (US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA))

Ryan Hill (US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA))

Ben DeVries (University of Maryland)

Kate Schofield (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Kelsey Jencso (University of Montana)

Tim P. Covino (Colorado State University)

Related Publications:

Neff, B.P., and Rosenberry, D.O., 2018, Groundwater connectivity of upland-embedded wetlands in the Prairie Pothole region: Wetlands, v. 38, no. 1, p. 51-63.