BURKE, R. A., S. FULTON, K. M. FRITZ, B. R. JOHNSON, AND C. BARTON. EFFECTS OF MOUNTAINTOP MINING/VALLEY FILL (MTM/VF) ON FUNCTIONAL INDICATORS IN APPALACHIAN HEADWATER STREAMS. Presented at EPA Regional Science Workshop on Headwaters and Associated Wetlands in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands Region, Philadelphia, PA, June 20 - 21, 2006.
The objectives of this poster were 1)to evaluate the impact of MTM/VF on the functional attributes SOD, soil/sediment respiration rate, soil/sediment DEA and dissolved trace gas concentrations across gradients of mining disturbance and hydrolgy and 2)compare these functional attributes in ephemeral and intermittent channels and adjacent upland soils to evaluate whether or not headwater channels are hotspots of C and/or N cycling.
The overall objective of this task is to identify or develop useful indicators of organic waste enrichment in aquatic systems that are easily measured and based on basic underlying ecosystem processes so that they will be widely applicable. These activities will primarily contribute to an APG within Long Term Goal 2 of the Water Quality Research Program Multiyear Plan: the 2008 APG on equipping EPA Regions, States, and Tribes with knowledge, skills and tools to determine the causes of impairments for freshwater and coastal systems required in various regulations and will also contribute to EPA Strategic Plan 2003-2008 Sub-objective 2.2.2: Improve Coastal and Ocean Waters. Activities that address the 2008 Water Quality APG will focus primarily on small streams of the Georgia Piedmont, which receive human and agricultural waste inputs. The activities related to EPA Sub-objective 2.2.2 will focus on the nearshore marine ecosystem of the Pacific Ocean, which receives treated wastes from the approximately 15 million people who live in the coastal zone of southern California and northern Baja California, Mexico, and on the nearshore marine ecosystem of the Gulf of California, which receives little anthropogenic pollution. The indicators that will be evaluated or developed will include concentrations of trace gases (N2O, CH4, and CO2), dissolved oxygen (DO), nutrients, and dissolved organic matter (DOM), other key parameters such as temperature, conductivity or salinity, flow rate, alkalinity, and pH, rates of key processes such as denitrification and DO consumption, and stable isotope ratios of various pools and substrates such as plants, animals, sediments, and DO.