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Wetland elevation and soil characteristics across Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge (2020-2021)

May 27, 2022

The recent completion of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) for New Orleans has effectively blocked surface water exchange between Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge (BSNWR) and the surrounding Lake(s) Pontchartrain and Borgne and the Gulf of Mexico to which it was once connected. Monitoring changes in hydrology, water quality, bird habitat variability, and resident waterbird and nekton communities within BSNWR is important to the long-term sustainability of these aquatic resources for use by visitors and aquatic life in these habitats. In particular, landscape and hydrologic modifications from management and restoration projects in southeastern Louisiana have led to areas of impounded and unimpounded marshland which can greatly affect soil characteristics. Understanding the differences in soil characteristics among impounded and unimpounded areas can provide information on habitat health, structure, and function, making it crucial to assess soil responses to hydrologic management practices. Triplicate 40x10cm cores were collected at six marsh sites, three impounded and three unimpounded, in BSNWR in 2020 and 2021 to assess the variation of soil bulk density and soil organic matter between three impounded and unimpounded areas. Cores were collected at least five meters from any edge in a section of the marsh with representative local vegetation. Excessive debris on the soil surface was removed prior to coring. Elevation of sites were also determined using Real-Time Kinematics (RTK) to determine the extent of flooding and water depth of each site.

Publication Year 2022
Title Wetland elevation and soil characteristics across Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge (2020-2021)
DOI 10.5066/P9Q3FXQM
Authors Gina N Groseclose, Brett Patton, Scott V Mize, Christopher M Swarzenski
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center - Nashville, TN Office