Watershed Controls of Freshwater Wetland Nutrient Stoichiometry and Sensitivity to Eutrophication

Science Center Objects

When it comes to freshwater wetlands, hydrology plays a large role in nutrient stoichiometry and sensitivity to nutrient inputs. Although wetland biogeochemists intuitively understand these important relationships between landscape position, hydrology, and sensitivity to nutrient inputs, these relationships have never been quantified using geospatial data. The objective of this project will be to evaluate and quantify the linkages between watershed catchment characteristics and freshwater wetland nutrient sensitivity.

Watershed Controls of Freshwater Wetland Nutrient Stoichiometry and Sensitivity to Eutrophication

Hydrology influences nutrient input sensitivity in freshwater wetlands. 

The Science Issue and Relevance: In freshwater wetlands, hydrology greatly influences nutrient stoichiometry and sensitivity to nutrient inputs. In general, wetlands that only receive local rainfall inputs (small catchment areas; e.g., bogs) are phosphorus limited and have high nitrogen:phosphorus (N:P) ratios. In contrast, wetlands that receive large surface water and sediment inputs (e.g., alluvial wetlands) are nitrogen limited and have low N:P ratios. Although wetland biogeochemists intuitively understand these important relationships between landscape position, hydrology, and sensitivity to nutrient inputs, these relationships have never been quantified using geospatial data. The objective of this project will be to evaluate and quantify the linkages between watershed catchment characteristics and freshwater wetland nutrient sensitivity.

Methodologies for Addressing the Issue: A combination of geospatial data and field-collected soil nutrient data will be used to evaluate and quantify the linkages between watershed catchment characteristics and freshwater wetland nutrient sensitivity.

Future Steps: Project work will continue with data analyses and communication of results.