MEASURING NUTRIENT DYNAMICS TO INFORM DEVELOPMENT OF SITE-SPECIFIC CRITERIA FOR WETLANDS
Wetlands are unique ecosystems which provide many critical ecosystem services. They are especially suited to improve water quality through the removal of sediments, nutrients, and other contaminants from water. The extent to which impounded wetlands surrounding the Great Salt Lake, Utah are able to process and remove nutrients remains unknown, although basic knowledge of wetland function suggests that this ecosystem service could be extensive. Our objective is to develop and test easy methods to evaluate, in situ, wetland responses to nutrient pollution (nitrogen and phosphorus) and to understand the role of environmental covariates in mediating these responses. We hypothesize that key environmental covariates affecting the rate of nutrient uptake in wetlands include salinity, ambient nutrient levels, and the presence of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). Treatments of increased salinity, decreased ambient phosphate, and removal of SAV were applied in a block design with three replicates. We performed an experimental pulse release of nutrients (NO3 and PO4) and measured the removal from the water column over a four-hour period. Nitrate uptake was five times faster than phosphate uptake, and the presence of SAV substantially increased the uptake of both nutrients.
Rachel Buck (Primary Presenter/Author), Utah State University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Michelle Baker (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Utah State University, email@example.com;