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Latest Earthquake | Chat Share
Linking Climate Change, Cattail Expansion, and Wetland Management
Date: June 4, 2021 from 2-2:30 p.m. eastern time
Speaker: Sheel Bansal, Research Ecologist, USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
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Call in: 202-640-1187 United States, Washington DC (Toll)
Conference ID: 387 327 121#
Background: Wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region in the Great Plains are experiencing intensive changes in their carbon cycles due to drainage for agriculture, as well as from the expansion of cattail. Cattail expansion is driven, in part, by anthropogenic changes to wetland hydrology and nutrient loads, as well as from the proliferation of a hybrid taxa with native and non-native parental lineages. When wetlands are drained, stored carbon is lost back to the atmosphere, and vice versa when they are restored. When wetlands are overrun by hybrid cattail, carbon uptake in plant biomass increases, but so do methane emissions; methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. Protection of natural wetlands and targeted management of cattail can provide maximum benefits in terms of preserving wetland ecosystems and ecosystem services, and enhancing the climate-mitigation potential of wetlands. This presentation describes the role of wetlands on climate and the effects of management and cattail expansion on wetland carbon cycling.