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SFS Annual Meeting

Poster Details

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Groundwater discharge magnitude and distribution can have a significant impact on ecosystem services provided by the peatland environment; however, peatlands can be a challenge to manage and restore due to their spatial extent, matrix heterogeneities, and the multi-scale interactions that exist within these ecosystems. Anthropogenic degradation, such as dewatering and sediment addition, further complicates the implementation of effective wetland restoration strategies. This research evaluates spatial patterning of groundwater discharge and the subsurface structure of a Massachusetts legacy cranberry farm peatland using heat-tracing methods and ground penetrating radar. Our results indicate two unique groundwater discharge processes that are spatially distinct, but both correlate to the subsurface peat basin structure. The two types of groundwater discharge are diffuse lower-flux spatially peripheral matrix seepage and, spatially interior discrete higher-flux preferential flow path seepage. These results informed stream channel restoration to enhance ecosystem services throughout the site’s large-scale project. Understanding the drivers and patterns of groundwater discharge may allow resource managers to more efficiently predict and locate groundwater seepage without invasive or laborious investigations, and incorporate this information into restoration design for these critical ecosystems.

Danielle Hare (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Connecticut,;

David Boutt (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Massachusetts, Amherst, ;

William P. Clement (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Massachusetts, Amherst, ;

Christine Hatch (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Massachusetts, Amherst, ;

Glorianna Davenport (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Living Observatory at Tidmarsh Farms, ;

Alex Hackman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, ;