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Estimating restorable wetland water storage at landscape scales
Jones, C., G. Evenson, D. McLaughlin, M. Vanderhoof, M. Lang, G. McCarty, H. Golden, C. Lane, AND L. Alexander. Estimating restorable wetland water storage at landscape scales. Hydrological Processes. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Indianapolis, IN, 32(2):305-313, (2018).
Analysis of potential water storage regained from wetland restoration
Globally, hydrologic modifications such as ditching and subsurface drainage have significantly reduced wetland water storage capacity (i.e., the volume of surface water a wetland can retain) and consequent wetland functions. While wetland area has been well documented across many landscapes and used to guide restoration efforts, few studies have directly quantified the associated wetland storage capacity. Here, we present a novel raster-based approach to quantify both the contemporary and potential (i.e., restorable) storage capacities of individual wetlands across landscapes. We demonstrate the utility of this method by applying it to the Delmarva Peninsula, a region punctuated by both depressional wetlands and drainage ditches. Across the entire peninsula, we estimated a potential increase in storage capacity of 76%. Focusing on an individual watershed, we found that over 60% of restorable storage capacity occurs within 20 m of the drainage network, and that 89% of restorable capacity is 1 m or less above the drainage network elevation. Our demonstration highlights the ubiquitous nature of ditching in this landscape; spatial patterns of both contemporary and potential storage capacities; and clear opportunities for hydrologic restoration. In Delmarva and more broadly, our novel approach can inform targeted landscape-scale conservation and restoration efforts to optimize hydrologically mediated wetland functions.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
SYSTEMS EXPOSURE DIVISION
ECOSYSTEM INTEGRITY BRANCH