Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Restoration: Monitoring Ecosystem Services and Self Maintenance

EPA Grant Number: R825799
Title: Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Restoration: Monitoring Ecosystem Services and Self Maintenance
Investigators: Atkinson, Robert B.
Institution: Christopher Newport University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: June 1, 1998 through May 31, 2001
Project Amount: $700,000
RFA: Ecosystem Restoration (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Land and Waste Management , Ecosystems


Dramatic decline of the Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) BSP) and ecosystem is attributed to harvest without re-planting, fire suppression, hydrologic alteration, and extensive development of coastal areas. Since the time of European colonization, loss of the Atlantic white cedar swamps exceeds 90% for the Carolinas and perhaps 98% in Virginia.


A risk assessment and decision matrix will be developed for managers concerned with Atlantic white cedar restoration. The broad objective is to complete a comparative evaluation of three ecosystem services that will aid in the restoration of this wetland system. The three services to be compared are 1) biodiversity, as well as habitat utilization (including endangered animals and plants), 2) water quality and groundwater recharge, and 3) atmospheric gas balances based on carbon cycling.


An integrated suite of parameters will be measured for the following ecosystem processes: hydrologic dynamics, soil nutrient flux, pollutant fate and effects, atmospheric gas exchange, plant and animal diversity and production, and decomposition. The experimental design will contrast mature and immature, naturally regenerated Atlantic white cedar stands within the Great dismal Swamp National Wildlife refuge with restoration efforts at the same location and at local Navy installations. Additional Sites include wetland mitigation and timber production where Atlantic white cedar has been planted.

Expected Results:

Certain restoration techniques, watershed and site conditions, and parameters will be identified as important for restoration, monitoring and watershed planning. This study will assist managers by developing a risk assessment and decision matrix for Atlantic white cedar swamp restoration.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 38 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

restoration, swamp, wetland, white cedar, water quality, hydrologic dynamics, soil nutrient flux, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Water & Watershed, Nutrients, Hydrology, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, Restoration, State, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, Ecological Risk Assessment, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, Watersheds, Ecological Indicators, aquatic ecosystem, hydrological stability, nutrient transport, risk assessment, monitoring, wetlands, carbon cycling, biodiversity, reforestation, Virginia (VA), Atlantic Whaite Cedar Swamp, hydrologic alteration, groundwater recharge, forest ecosystem, decision making, conservation, atmospheric gas, ecological recovery, aquatic ecosystems, water quality, ecosystem restoration, soil nutrient flux, decision matrix, North Carolina (NC), South Carolina (SC), watershed restoration

Relevant Websites:

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1998
  • 1999
  • Final