Back to top

SFS Annual Meeting

2021 Detailed Schedule

Click titles to view presentation information.

CLIMATE-DRIVEN CHANGES IN HYDROPERIOD ALTER THE CONTRIBUTION OF ANIMAL-DRIVEN NUTRIENT SUPPLY TO ECOSYSTEM NUTRIENT DEMAND [Oral Presentation]

Emily Jameson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Michigan, jaemily@umich.edu;

Howard Whiteman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Murray State University, hwhiteman@murraystate.edu;

Brad Taylor (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
North Carolina State University Dept. of Applied Ecology; Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, bwtaylo3@ncsu.edu ;

Jared Balik (Primary Presenter/Author)
North Carolina State University, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, jabalik2@ncsu.edu;

Abstract: We use nutrient excretion rates (NH4-N and SRP), benthic invertebrate and salamander abundances, and nutrient uptake rates to estimate pond-level nutrient supply and demand along a pond-permanence gradient of 12 subalpine ponds in the U.S. Rocky Mountains. Biomass predicts taxon-specific supply across habitats, and consequently, animal-driven supply is greatest in permanent habitats where biomass is greatest. Animal driven N supply exceeds demand in permanent and semi-permanent habitats, whereas P supply meets demand. Conversely, temporary ponds have a large deficit in N and P supply. Combined with lower biomass in temporary ponds, differences in patterns of supply relative to demand are consistent with losing a dominant supplier (oligochaetes) and large reduction in biomass of another (chironomids). Rank- order taxon-specific supply differs among habitats, with supply more evenly distributed among taxa in temporary ponds. Conversely, in permanent ponds supply is dominated by few taxa. The absence or lower biomass of dominant suppliers in temporary ponds creates supply deficits and possibly nutrient limitation of productivity. Therefore, as climate warming shortens hydroperiods and prompts biomass declines and compositional shifts, nutrient limitation may arise due to loss of animal-driven supply, potentially also reducing landscape-scale nutrient retention.

CONTRIBUTION OF MICROBIAL ASSEMBLAGES TO NITROGEN CYCLING IN WETAND RESERVE PROGRAM EASEMENTS [Oral Presentation]

Donald Walker (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Middle Tennessee State University, dmwalker.dmw@gmail.com;

Justin Murdock (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Tennessee Tech University, jnmurdock@tntech.edu;

Robert Brown (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Tennessee Tech University, rsbrown43@tntech.edu;

Shrijana Duwadi (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Tennessee Tech University, sduwadi42@tntech.edu;

Spencer Womble (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Tennessee Tech University, sgwomble42@tntech.edu;

Nicholas Alexander (Primary Presenter/Author)
Middle Tennessee State University, n.reed.alexander@gmail.com;

Abstract: Recent work has suggested that microbial assemblages within wetland ecosystems may serve as bioindicators for the restoration of wetland functions, as microbes make direct contributions to nutrient retention, cycling, and redox potential within soil. Our project seeks to understand patterns of microbial assemblage structure and function across federally restored agricultural easements as part of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Wetland Reserve Program in western Tennessee and western Kentucky, within the greater Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Our lab has developed a novel methodology for collecting microbial assemblages from soil cores, allowing for fine-scale spatial analysis within the organic layer of wetland soils. The purpose of this study was to uncover broad to fine-scale spatial patterns and determine the contribution of microbial assemblages to nitrogen cycling within and among wetlands by developing diversity profiles from high-throughput DNA sequencing data, measurements of soil geochemistry, functional N cycling genes, and nutrient flux rates from soil core incubations. This work aims to address temporal and spatial dynamics of restored wetland soils in a multidisciplinary context to better link microbial processes with whole easement nutrient retention and restoring wetland ecological services.

CUTTING TREES TO GROW FROGS: LONGLEAF FOREST RESTORATION INCREASES GEOGRAPHICALLY ISOLATED WETLAND (GIW) HYDROPERIOD IN SOUTHWESTERN GA USA [Oral Presentation]

Stephen Golladay (Primary Presenter/Author)
The Jones Center at Ichauway, steve.golladay@jonesctr.org;

Brian Clayton (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Jones Center at Ichauway, brian.clayton@jonesctr.org;

Steven Brantley (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Jones Center at Ichauway, steven.brantley@jonesctr.org;

Chelsea Smith (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
The Jones Center at Ichauway, chelsea.smith@jonesctr.org;

D. Woody Hicks (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Jones Center at Ichauway, woody.hicks@mchsi.com;

Abstract: Geographically isolated wetlands (GIWs) are known as “hotspots” for biodiversity and other ecosystem services. Regular cycles of inundation and drying makes hydrology a primary controlling variable for sustaining GIW functions. Many GIWs are degraded and little work has focused on upland management to sustain or improve GIW structure and function. We present a study of longleaf forest restoration, by hardwood removal, on wetland hydroperiod over 10 years. Hardwoods were removed or deadened in a GIW catchment resulting in a 37% reduction. The effects on GIW hydrology were assessed using pre- and post-removal water levels, water yields (WYe), and standardized recession rates (RRstd). Hardwood removal increased WYe and decreased RRstd resulting in greater water availability reflected by water levels. Removal affected both the ascending and recessing limbs of hydroperiods, substantially increasing duration of ponded water. We show that forest management can enhance conditions in GIWS. Our study was limited in scope but conducted in a realistic operational setting. The results have implications at both the local scale, i.e., managing critical aquatic habitat for wildlife populations, and at a regional scale, i.e., providing support for landscape connectivity and water yields.

Experimental Mesocosms Elucidate Function of Wetland Ponds across Environmental Gradients [Oral Presentation]

Rachel Buck (Primary Presenter/Author)
Utah State University, rachel.buck11@gmail.com;

Michelle Baker (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Utah State University, michelle.baker@usu.edu;

Abstract: Multimetric indices (MMIs) are a tool currently used by GSL wetland managers and scientists to make integrative assessments of ecological integrity. They take into account biological, chemical, and physical properties of an ecosystem, allowing wetland sites to be ranked according to condition (i.e. poor, fair, good). Characteristics measured include water chemistry, condition of submerged aquatic vegetation, surface algal mats, and the biomass/composition of phytoplankton, zooplankton, and benthic invertebrates. We will discover which wetland characteristics measured in the MMI are most related to wetland assimilation of N and P. We will use the method developed in Chapter 1 to estimate nutrient uptake of N and P at each wetland and compare those to wetland characteristics measured using a Random Forest Model. Our bioassessment will allow managers to understand which indicators of quality within a wetland are most important for predicting how well it will retain/uptake nutrients.

FUNCTIONAL IMPROVEMENTS IN WETLANDS RESTORED FROM ROW CROP AGRICULTURE VARY AS WETLANDS AGE [Oral Presentation]

Howard Whiteman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Murray State University, hwhiteman@murraystate.edu;

Karen Baumann (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Murray State University, kbaumann1@murraystate.edu;

Christy Soldo (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Murray State University, csoldo@murraystate.edu;

Michael Flinn (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Murray State University, mflinn@murraystate.edu;

Kinga Stryszowska-Hill (Primary Presenter/Author)
Murray State University, stryszowskakinga@gmail.com;

Abstract: Wetland ecosystems perform important functions, such as nutrient retention, sediment removal, and flood attenuation. Restoration efforts are being implemented to recover lost function, but the recovery of these functions over time is still poorly understood. The objective of our study was to determine the recovery rate of five wetland functional proxies in riparian wetlands restored from row crop agriculture in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, USA. We evaluated wetlands along a chronosequence from 1 to 13 years since restoration. Our results show that General Function recovered rapidly with age and matched reference wetlands within 13 years. Plant Function also recovered rapidly with age, but after 13 years restored wetlands maintained significantly different plant function from reference wetlands. Flood Attenuation Function, Invertebrate Function, and Sedimentation Function showed weak or no response to wetland age. To support functional recovery, wetland restorations should focus on maintaining microtopographic features and perennial plant richness. Study results highlight the benefits of using proxies for wetland function to monitor restored wetlands over time.

High amphipod abundance is tied to diverse macrophyte communities in prairie pothole wetlands [Oral Presentation]

Danelle Larson (Primary Presenter/Author)
U.S. Geological Survey, danellelarson77@gmail.com;

Demey Dejong (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Augsburg University, demey.everett@gmail.com;

Emily Schilling (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Augsburg University, schillin@augsburg.edu;

Michael Anteau (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
U.S. Geological Survey, manteau@usgs.gov;

Breanna Keith (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Bemidji State University, breanna.keith@state.mn.us;

Barry Thoele (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Lincoln Bait LLC, liveaqua@msn.com;

Abstract: Conservation programs aim to protect biodiversity and the abundance of individual species simultaneously. Amphipods (Gammarus lacustris and Hyalella azteca) are key food resources for waterfowl and are declining in North America. We quantified relationships between amphipod densities and aquatic plant diversity to test the notion that biodiversity can support high abundances of single species. We sampled a large range of amphipod densities (7,050 amphipods/m3) and >50% of the study wetlands had high amphipod densities (>500 amphipods/m3). Generalized linear models revealed G. lacustris densities increased strongly with macrophyte diversity that included many growth forms. Similarly, Hyalella azteca densities were maximized at moderate levels of submersed biomass and increased strongly with aquatic plant diversity. Community analyses showed both amphipod species were positively associated with diverse plant assemblages and negatively associated with high prevalence of cattails (Typha spp.). Our results suggest that amphipods represent wetland biodiversity and could be used as an “umbrella species” for protecting waterfowl habitat. Similarly, managing wetlands for macrophyte diversity would provide essential habitat for amphipods and waterfowl. Conservation strategies that concurrently use amphipods as an umbrella species and protect wetland biodiversity are compatible and will improve wetland quality.

INFLUENCE OF LAKE SEEDBANK ON PHYTOPLANKTON POPULATIONS AND THEIR SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION IN AN ARID FLOODPLAIN SYSTEM [Oral Presentation]

Sewwandi Wijesuriya (Primary Presenter/Author)
Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, mwijesuriya@student.unimelb.edu.au;

Angus Webb (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
The University of Melbourne, angus.webb@unimelb.edu.au;

Michael Stewardson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Melbourne, mjstew@unimelb.edu.au;

Abstract: Understanding the origin of phytoplankton is essential for the management practices, especially in restored water bodies. A wetland’s post-flood phytoplankton community is partially reliant on the germination of resting stages previously deposited in the lake sediment during the drying phase. We examined the seed bank phytoplankton species richness of four lakes in the arid Hattah Lakes floodplain system, Victoria, Australia, to assess seed bank functionality. The results showed that although germination of the species is not synchronous, each lake’s dominant species germinated by the second week under inundation. Two of the connected lakes share common species compared to the disconnected lake, suggesting an effect of the cascade filling pattern of the system. However, a surprisingly distinct species assemblage was observed in the other connected lake. Overall, there are statistically significant differences in species richness within and between lakes, indicating spatial heterogeneity of phytoplankton species at multiple scales. These findings emphasize the importance of assessing the representativeness of any samples taken during phytoplankton control programs.

MACROINVERTEBRATE RESPONSES TO HYDROLOGICAL VARIATION IN EXPERIMENTAL WETLANDS. [Oral Presentation]

Checo Colón-Gaud (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Georgia Southern University, jccolongaud@georgiasouthern.edu;

Sergio Andres Sabat-Bonilla (Primary Presenter/Author)
Georgia Southern University, Biology Department, Statesboro, GA, ss35863@georgiasouthern.edu;

Abstract: Predicted increases in the frequency of intense storms and periods of severe drought due to climate change represent a threat to wetland macroinvertebrate communities through alterations to the hydrological regime. We used experimental ponds to assess the effects of water permanence (i.e., duration of flooding) on the communities of aquatic macroinvertebrates. We predict that permanent ponds will harbor higher diversity of longer-lived taxa whereas temporary ones will favor colonization by quick turnover, short-lived taxa and support lower consumer diversity. Results show differences in dominant taxa as well as in species diversity and functional feeding groups between the two treatment groups. Permanent ponds show a homogeneous and stable community of longer-lived taxa dominated by collector-gatherers and predators compared to a more variable community of shorter-lived taxa mostly composed of collector-gatherers and filterers found in temporary ones. It seems like this variability is due to a lack of time for the competing colonizers to establish dominance over others as the water cover fluctuates between desiccation and inundation along a shorter time scale, limiting the availability of suitable habitats.

MULTI-PROXY PALEOLIMNOLOGICAL RECORDS PROVIDE EVIDENCE FOR A SHIFT TO A NEW ECOSYSTEM STATE IN THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS [Oral Presentation]

Kui Hu (Primary Presenter/Author)
Environmental and Conservation Sciences Program and Department of Biological Sciences, North Dakota State University, kuihu27@gmail.com;

David Mushet (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, dmushet@usgs.gov;

Jon Sweetman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Environmental and Conservation Sciences Program and Department of Biological Sciences, North Dakota State University, sweetman.jon@ndsu.edu;

Abstract: Prairie pothole wetlands provide vital ecosystem services and are biodiversity hotspots. While these ecosystems are hydrologically variable, in recent decades, an ecohydrological shift driven by marked increases in precipitation has occurred. The response of wetland ecosystems to these changes, however, is not well understood. We examined multiproxy sedimentary data (diatoms, invertebrate isotope signatures) collected from two adjacent, but hydrologically contrasting, wetlands to assess long-term ecosystem responses. One site is closed basin, while the other has an outlet limiting water depth. Within both sites, diatom communities responded similarly, with a rapid increase in planktonic taxa in the last half of the 20th Century, although the timing varied between sites. The shift to the new wetter ecosystem state was recorded in chironomid-derived oxygen and hydrogen isotopic signatures, beginning in 1993. At the same time, Daphnia ephippia carbon stable isotope values decreased, suggested a shift to dependence on methanotroph-derived C and increased methane production in these wetlands. Our paleolimological records confirm that the recent ecohydrological shift is unprecedented (within the past 200 years) and suggests this shift has altered the ecosystem functioning and dynamics of Prairie Pothole Region wetlands.

Nutrient recovery trajectories of restored riparian wetlands in agricultural watersheds [Oral Presentation]

Justin Murdock (Primary Presenter/Author)
Tennessee Tech University, jnmurdock@tntech.edu;

Robert Brown (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Tennessee Tech University, rsbrown43@tntech.edu;

Spencer Womble (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Tennessee Tech University, sgwomble42@tntech.edu;

Shrijana Duwadi (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Tennessee Tech University, sduwadi42@tntech.edu;

Morgan Michael (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Tennessee Tech University, mamichael42@tntech.edu;

Alfred Kalyanapu (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Tennessee Tech University, akalyanapu@tntech.edu;

Abstract: Agricultural watersheds contribute a substantial proportion of nutrients exported into the Lower Mississippi River Basin. Channelization and levee construction that disconnects the river and its floodplain, and the conversion of riparian wetlands into agricultural production greatly contribute to increased stream nutrient export. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service established the Wetlands Reserve Program over 20 years ago to restore marginal agricultural land back to functional wetland ecosystems. The goal of our research is to quantify restoration outcomes across 40 restored riparian wetlands throughout the major river basins in western Tennessee and Kentucky, focusing on flood events that reconnect rivers and floodplains. We are measuring easement nutrient retention as a function of time in the program (i.e. wetland successional stage) and restoration practices including hydrology and vegetation modifications. We present results from the first two years of a four-year study. Key findings include high denitrification rates across habitat types regardless of initial soil moisture, and increased retention after seven years in the program. The ecosystem services provided by these restored wetlands appears to reach beyond the creation of wildlife habitat by providing substantial water quality improvement in local and downstream agroecosystems.

SAFEGUARDS VERIFICATION ON THE ECOLOGY OF WETLANDS IN THE COASTAL REGIONS OF NIGERIA, REDUCING POTENTIAL HUMAN ERRORS, MITIGATE UNEXPECTED OUTCOMES.   [Oral Presentation]

Jude Uku (Primary Presenter/Author)
Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria, ukudt@yahoo.com;

Abstract: The coastal wetlands of Nigeria are the home to oil exploration in Nigeria. Multinational oil companies have played a major role in ensuring environmental and social sustainability mainly through its safeguard measures, policies and instrument. Yet there is a great vacuum created on the overall social-ecological systems, ecosystem services and the associated livelihoods which are still threatened This research explores the importance of safeguards verification on the ecology of wetlands in the regions. The key approach in this investigation is to explore how Strengthening Safeguards through a Learning Culture seek, share and apply knowledge to strengthen safeguards will help ensure critical safeguards are in place and effective and there by predicting future scenarios to manage the wetlands successfully.

WHEN INDICES OF CONDITION DON’T TELL US ABOUT WETLAND FUNCTION [Oral Presentation]

Denice H. Wardrop (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Penn State University, dhw110@psu.edu;

M. Siobhan Fennessy (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Kenyon College, fennessym@kenyon.edu;

Hannah Ingram (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Penn State University, hmi101@psu.edu;

Amanda M. Nahlik (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
US EPA, Pacific Ecological Systems Division, ORD-CPHEA, Nahlik.Amanda@epa.gov;

Jessica Moon (Primary Presenter/Author)
Murray State University, jmoon8@murraystate.edu;

Abstract: Wetland loss has been significant across the globe. Those that remain are vulnerable to the effects of surrounding land use and are in some cases subjected to biotic homogenization. To monitor the condition of these wetlands, we commonly focus on gathering information about their surrounding land use, onsite stressors, and vegetative communities. The question remains: are these good indicators of a wetland’s functions, such as those performed in full or in part by microbes? We investigated this question in headwater wetlands of Pennsylvania and Ohio, focusing on pools and fluxes of the carbon and nitrogen that regulate water quality and climate change. While some pool (e.g., carbon storage) and flux (e.g., soil 15N) measurements were correlated with condition gradients derived from land use and onsite characterizations, rarely did we find congruence across regions (e.g., carbon accretion). Many functions fail to be explained without first accounting for other landscape gradients (e.g., soil texture’s effects on denitrification). Given these findings we ask, are there innovative ways for monitoring function that can be implemented in our monitoring programs in the future?

A PRELIMINARY COMPARISON OF MACROINVERTEBRATE COMMUNITIES WITHIN INVASIVE STARRY STONEWORT (NITELLOPSIS OBTUSA) AND NATIVE PLANT STANDS [Poster Presentation]

Christopher Pennuto (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Great Lake Center, Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222 / Biology Department, Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222 , PENNUTCM@buffalostate.edu;

Alexander Krest (Primary Presenter/Author)
Great Lake Center, Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222 / Biology Department, Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222 , krestac01@mail.buffalostate.edu;

Abstract: The composition of macroinvertebrate communities is dictated by the biotic, abiotic, and historical conditions within a given aquatic system. For communities found within submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), the arrival of a dominant non-native species may reconfigure the physical, chemical, or biotic nature of those conditions. Starry stonewort (Nittelopsis obtusa), a Eurasian macroalgae, recently invaded habitats in western New York, producing some nearly monospecific stands. We compared macroinvertebrate communities within starry stonewort stands to communities gathered from native stands of SAV using standard D-net sampling techniques. Preliminary observations indicate no difference in total abundance or taxa richness of macroinvertebrates among the SAV stands. However, analyses of community composition suggested there were several taxa under or over-represented in stonewort patches. Snails dominated stonewort patches (64%), whereas midges and isopods (34%) and ‘other’ (53%) were dominant in elodea and muskgrass patches, respectively. These preliminary results suggest that invasive SAV’s may affect local macroinvertebrate community composition even if total abundance and richness is unaffected.

Adult insects and a baby record: a new long-term study of aquatic insect emergence from the streams of Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest [Poster Presentation]

Tammy Wooster (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
CARY INSTITUTE OF ECOSYSTEM STUDIES, woostert@caryinstitute.org;

Audrey Thellman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Duke University , audrey.thellman@duke.edu;

Emma Rosi (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, rosie@caryinstitute.org;

Emily Bernhardt (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Duke University, emily.bernhardt@duke.edu;

Tyler Edwards (Primary Presenter/Author)
Duke University, tge4@duke.edu;

Abstract: In spring of 2018, we initiated the weekly sampling of emergent insects from seven well-studied headwater streams in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Each week, 35 sticky traps hanging from permanent locations in the riparian zone within 20m of the location of water sampling are collected. Counts of the aquatic insects of the orders Ephemeroptera, Diptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera reveal two distinct seasonal peaks in emergence: the first occurs in May and the second in early October. Both peaks are dominated by blackflies which made up 77% of the 100,749 insects counted to date, while mayflies account for less than 0.07%. The number of emergent insects differed between the first two years of our study, with 64% more emergence in 2019 than in 2018. We are just beginning to be able to build predictive models to explain spatial and temporal variation in the timing and magnitude of insect emergence and look forward to the insights that will be gained as this record continues to the end of the decade.

CHARACTERIZING LONG-TERM HYDROLOGICAL CHANGES IN IMPAIRED DEPRESSIONAL WETLANDS (TAMPA BAY REGION, FL) [Poster Presentation]

Jessica Balerna (Primary Presenter/Author)
University of South Florida, jbalerna@usf.edu;

Abstract: Freshwater depressional wetlands perform invaluable ecosystem functions like nutrient filtration and storage, habitat provision, and flood mitigation. Many of these functions stem from the unique hydrological conditions that occur in wetlands due to their periodic flooding; however, persistent disturbances like over-extraction of groundwater can alter these hydrological conditions and subsequently wetland ecological function. This study investigates long-term changes in the hydrology of 152 wetlands in the Tampa Bay region; these wetlands have experienced cutbacks in groundwater extraction rates over the past two decades as managers try to balance drinking water demands with wetland protection. Results indicate that wetlands located near wells with historically high, medium, and low groundwater extraction volumes had hydroperiods (% time that wetlands are flooded) significantly different from reference wetlands where no extraction occurs nearby. Further, groundwater extraction and hydroperiod were significantly and negatively correlated even after accounting for precipitation. Though these results indicate that groundwater extraction is altering wetland hydrology, 55% of wetlands studied also showed significant increasing trends in wetland water levels over the study period, supporting recent research that passive restoration, in the form of extraction cutbacks, are benefiting wetlands.

Effects of fish communities on freshwater amphipod stocking success in Minnesota, USA [Poster Presentation]

Michael Bieganek (Primary Presenter/Author)
Augsburg University, bieganem@augsburg.edu;

Abstract: Amphipods (small crustaceans important as waterfowl forage and indicators of ecosystem health) have declined in North America. We used a Before-After/Control-Impact study design to test the efficacy of stocking Gammarus lacustris to restore populations and whether fish impacted stocking success. We stocked Gammarus into 22 wetlands during winters 2017–2020. We conducted pre- and post-stocking amphipod surveys during fall (September – October) for 1–3 years post-stocking. We also surveyed fish communities in stocked (n=14) and control (n=11) wetlands, as well as wetlands with naturally abundant Gammarus densities (“natural” wetlands; n=18). Gammarus have not been found in 13 of the 14 post-stocking surveys at stocked wetlands. Of the five commonly occurring fish species, fathead minnows had higher abundance in natural wetlands whereas black bullheads, dace, and central mudminnows had higher abundance in stocked wetlands. Our results suggest that amphipod stocking is not successful within the first few years of stocking, and that fish may be hindering invertebrate stocking in some wetlands.

INSECT EMERGENCE PATTERNS ON RESTORED WETLANDS ACROSS WESTERN KENTUCKY [Poster Presentation]

Nathan Waltmon (Primary Presenter/Author)
Murray State University , nwaltmon@murraystate.edu;

Karen Baumann (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Murray State University, kbaumann1@murraystate.edu;

Kelley Fritz (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Southeastern Missouri State University, k.a.fritz24@gmail.com;

Michael Flinn (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Murray State University, mflinn@murraystate.edu;

Abstract: Emergent aquatic insect communities play an important role in wetlands as a food source for riparian consumers. This study will assess the diversity and biomass of insects within these communities and allow us to understand how they are responding to the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP). We are deploying insect emergence traps on nine WRP easement sites across Western Kentucky in addition to agricultural control sites and reference wetlands. Insects are collected from traps using an aspirator, preserved in 80% ethanol, measured, and identified. We are currently underway collecting data. We expect numbers and diversity of insects collected to rise and peak around April and May when temperatures increase and conditions become more conducive to insect emergence. Insect diversity and numbers are also expected to be higher in reference wetlands and older restored wetlands where there is more aquatic vegetation. This study will provide a greater understanding of insect emergence patterns that can be applied to future studies and help to continue the restoration of our wetlands through a better understanding of the communities they support.

Macroinvertebrate communities respond rapidly to wetland restoration in western Kentucky [Poster Presentation]

Kinga Stryszowska-Hill (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Murray State University, kstryszowskahill@murraystate.edu;

Howard Whiteman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Murray State University, hwhiteman@murraystate.edu;

Michael Flinn (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Murray State University, mflinn@murraystate.edu;

Christy Soldo (Primary Presenter/Author)
Murray State University, csoldo@murraystate.edu;

Abstract: Wetlands improve the quality of our nation’s streams, rivers, and lakes, and they support a diverse assemblage of plant and animal species. Each year, billions of dollars are spent on a variety of projects focused on restoring wetlands, such as the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP). Our main objective for this study was to quantify macroinvertebrate richness, diversity, and abundance on easements enrolled in WRP. Our study sites include restoration easements of various ages and mature bottomland forests, which represent pre-disturbance “reference” wetlands. Hydrological modification structures, such as levee breaks, ditch plugs, or shallow water areas have been installed on each easement to improve connectivity and water retention from adjacent rivers. Stovepipe cores and dip-nets were used to collect macroinvertebrates at each site. Invertebrate richness, diversity, and abundance closely resembled reference-standard wetlands within a few years post-restoration. The frequency, intensity, and duration of inundation at each site were the primary variables influencing invertebrate community structure. Because new easements are permanently enrolled, there is tremendous potential to quantify increases in physical and biological condition. Understanding how these easements respond to restoration will provide opportunities for adaptive management in subsequent years.

Short-term diatom community responses to drought conditions in experimental wetlands [Poster Presentation]

Maggie Kuhn (Primary Presenter/Author)
Georgia Southern University, mk12813@georgiasouthern.edu;

Craig Aumack (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Georgia Southern University, caumack@georgiasouthern.edu;

Checo Colon-Gaud (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Georgia Southern University, jccolongaud@georgiasouthern.edu;

Abstract: We assessed the short-term responses of benthic diatom communities and microalgal biomass over a 4-month sampling period using temporary and permanent experimental wetlands in southeast Georgia. Temporary wetlands were inundated for ~70d then allowed to dry (~30d), whereas permanent wetlands had been continuously flooded for a 2y period. We hypothesized that permanent wetlands would have higher rates of primary production and harbor a consistent diatom community throughout flooding, whereas temporary wetlands would initially have lower rates of primary production, with an increased rate during drying conditions, while harboring quick turn-over taxa. We also expected compounding physical factors (i.e., temperature and nutrient concentrations) to affect temporary and permanent wetlands differently. We found diatom communities to differ between temporary and permanent wetlands, and abiotic conditions contributed to these differences. This study demonstrates how microalgal communities will respond to a changing climate and how these changes may ultimately influence wetland ecosystem processes.

SIGNALS IN THE NOISE: UNDERSTANDING DRIVERS OF CHLOROPHYLL-A IN GREAT LAKES COASTAL WETLANDS [Poster Presentation]

Whitney Conard (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, wconard@nd.edu;

Matthew Cooper (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation, Northland College, mcooper@northland.edu;

Marina Hein (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, marhein94@gmail.com;

Ashley Moerke (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Center for Freshwater Research and Education, Lake Superior State University, amoerke@lssu.edu;

Katherine O'Reilly (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, koreill2@nd.edu;

Gary Lamberti (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Notre Dame, glambert@nd.edu;

Joseph Gentine (Primary Presenter/Author)
University of Notre Dame , jgentin2@nd.edu;

Abstract: Coastal wetlands of the Laurentian Great Lakes are diverse and productive ecosystems that occur over a broad range of environmental conditions. These wetlands provide important ecosystem services but are threatened by anthropogenic factors including nutrient input, land-use change, invasive species, and climate change. We assessed one metric of ecosystem condition – water column chlorophyll-a – in 475 coastal wetlands as part of the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program. Mean chlorophyll-a concentrations increased on a north-to-south gradient from less developed Lake Superior to more developed Lake Erie, however concentrations varied among sites within lakes. We developed two models of chlorophyll-a concentrations for each lake – one using variables that directly affect phytoplankton (e.g., dissolved nutrients, temperature) and the other using variables with indirect effects (e.g., land use, fetch). Direct and indirect variable models explained 13-46% and 10-53% of variation, respectively, in chlorophyll-a for specific lakes. Land use was an important indirect predictor of chlorophyll-a concentrations, whereas no consistent pattern was found for direct variables. However, specific conductance and temperature emerged as important direct predictors for different lakes. Our results highlight the importance of effective watershed management for protecting coastal wetlands.

SOIL NUTRIENT RETENTION ACROSS RESTORED FLOOPLAIN WETLAND HABITATS [Poster Presentation]

Spencer Womble (Primary Presenter/Author)
Tennessee Tech University, sgwomble42@tntech.edu;

Justin Murdock (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Tennessee Tech University, jnmurdock@tntech.edu;

Robert Brown (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Tennessee Tech University, rsbrown43@tntech.edu;

Shrijana Duwadi (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Tennessee Tech University, sduwadi42@tntech.edu;

Abstract: Floodplain wetlands have been historically degraded by agricultural practices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) transitions cropland back to wetlands to restore ecosystem structure and function. We evaluated how WRP restoration practices influence nutrient retention on 14 restored wetlands in western Tennessee and Kentucky during the summers of 2019 and 2020. Thirty soil cores were collected from dominant habitat types and inundated with elevated nitrogen and phosphorus water using a flow-through system to estimate maximum uptake potentials. Nitrogen and phosphorus uptake, and denitrification rates were measured over 48-h. A linear mixed effects model was used to compare nutrient removal rates with habitat type and soil properties. Preliminary data suggest that soil oxygen demand, soil moisture, and soil organic matter have the strongest influence on nutrient uptake and denitrification potential. Natural regeneration habitats had greater phosphate retention and denitrification potential relative to shallow water and tree planting habitats. Phosphate uptake and denitrification rates appear to be highest after 24 h and 48 h of inundation, respectively. These preliminary results suggest that prolonging inundation and allowing for natural succession to occur may maximize nutrient retention in these wetlands.

Spatial Variation of Nutrient Uptake in a Restored Agricultural Wetland [Poster Presentation]

Morgan Michael (Primary Presenter/Author)
Tennessee Tech University, mamichael42@tntech.edu;

Abstract: The USDA Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) was originally established to restore wildlife habitat in converted and degraded riparian wetlands, but an increased emphasis has also been put on restoring their ability to reduce nutrient runoff. We analyzed nutrient uptake rates and their variability across WRP restoration practices to evaluate nutrient retention rates in four main restoration habitat types; shallow water areas (SWA), remnant forests (RF), tree planting areas (TP), and natural regeneration areas (NR) in a west Tennessee wetland. We collected 30 soil/sediment cores from each habitat; and measured nitrate and phosphate uptake and denitrification potential in continuous-flow incubations for 72 hours, simulating a flood. Preliminary analyses show that nitrate uptake was highest in the SWA (207% more than other habitats), and phosphate uptake was highest in RF (159% more than others). Soil denitrification was similar among SWA, RP, and NR habitats, but was 176% lower in RF. We also found significant spatial variability in uptake across all habitats. These results suggest that no, one habitat provides optimum nitrogen and phosphorus removal, and a multihabitat approach may provide the best overall nutrient removal capacity.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SUBSTRATE SELECTION IN MITIGATION WETLANDS: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE [Poster Presentation]

Mercedes Guerrero-Brotons (Primary Presenter/Author)
Department of Ecology and Hydrology, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain., mariamercedes.guerrero@um.es;

Carolina Díaz-García (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Department of Agricultural Engineering, E.T.S.I.A. Technical University of Cartagena, 30202 Cartagena, Spain, carolina.diaz@upct.es;

José Álvarez-Rogel (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Department of Agricultural Engineering, E.T.S.I.A. Technical University of Cartagena, 30202 Cartagena, Spain, Jose.Alvarez@upct.es;

Nùria Perujo (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA), Carrer Emili Grahit 101, 17003 Girona, Spain; University of Girona, Plaça de Sant Domènec 3, 17004 Girona, Spain., nuria.perujo.buxeda@gmail.com;

Anna M. Romaní (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Institute of Aquatic Ecology, University of Girona, Campus de Montilivi, 17003 Girona, Spain., anna.romani@udg.edu;

Rosa Gómez (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Department of Ecology and Hydrology, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain., rgomez@um.es;

Abstract: As Nature Based Solution, mitigation wetlands not only have to improve water quality, but also should provide ecosystem services such as to be a refuge and source of energy for diverse organisms. The substrate type is a key design element in wetlands performance, but it is also essential for the growth and development of vegetation and microorganisms and, therefore, for approaching to natural wetlands structure and function. Our goal was to analyze the effect of different substrates; gravel, gravel + soil (30%), and gravel + biochar (10%); on: i) plant development and tissue nutrient content, ii) density and activity of microbial communities, and iii) N and P removal rates, during the first 16 months of operation of a pilot plant treating agricultural water. Gravel + soil presented the greatest plant growth and development with the highest N and P content, the highest microbial density and activity and the greatest N removal capacity. In the opposite extreme, the conventionally used gravel substrate. The observed responses for the gravel + biochar were variable through time, and intermediate between the other two substrates. The results suggest substrate type being crucial for wetlands functioning.

USE OF RESTORED WETLANDS BY HERPETOFAUNA IN WESTERN KENTUCKY [Poster Presentation]

John Connock (Primary Presenter/Author)
Murray State University, jconnock@murraystate.edu;

Howard Whiteman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Murray State University, hwhiteman@murraystate.edu;

Michael Flinn (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Murray State University, mflinn@murraystate.edu;

Abstract: Wetlands perform many critical ecosystem services, supporting a diverse array of aquatic and terrestrial communities, yet have experienced significant losses in the past few hundred years. The Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) has restored wetlands to mitigate these losses. Restoration of wetlands is a boon for many wetland species, particularly herpetofauna. We are monitoring WRP, control (cropland), and reference (historic bottomland forest) wetlands in western Kentucky to determine how herpetofaunal communities have responded to restoration. We are employing multiple methods to assess amphibian and reptile diversity in our study wetlands including timed-constrained dipnet surveys, acoustic recorders, hoop nets, and aquatic minnow traps. In the first year of the study, we captured 2563 amphibians and 564 turtles, representing 14 and 8 species respectively. Preliminary analyses suggest that amphibian richness does not vary among the three wetland types. WRP and reference wetlands both supported higher levels of species richness for turtles than control wetlands. This study will add to our understanding of wetland restoration, and provide managers with important data to inform future restoration initiatives for herpetofauna and other wildlife.