Presentation Title

Influence of the Missisquoi Wetland on riverine nutrient cycling under different flow regimes

Abstract

Riverine loading (input over a period of time) of nutrients can contribute to eutrophication in lakes. Therefore, understanding controls on riverine nutrient loading to lakes is important. Wetlands are key ecosystems in reducing nutrient loading of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) which contributes to eutrophication in water bodies because of their capacity of transform and retain nutrients. A high wetland productivity, or a wetland’s ability to uptake nutrients, can help reduce cyanobacteria blooms in water bodies. Productivity is a function of the amount of water flowing through a river over time (discharge) and how quickly water cycles through a wetland (residence time). It can vary seasonally based on light availability, temperature, biological activity, and precipitation. Wetlands can transform and retain nutrients through biological activity (uptake by plants and microbes) and particle settling. This project aims to characterize longitudinal profiles of particulate and dissolved nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations through the Missisquoi Bay wetland complex under varying seasonal discharge (flow regimes). Understanding the spatial and temporal dynamics of wetland productivity will help watershed scientists better define the ecosystem’s role in combatting nutrient loading and eutrophication in water bodies.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

carol.adair@uvm.edu

Secondary Mentor NetID

aschroth, n/a, n/a

Secondary Mentor Name

Andrew Schroth, Dustin Kincaid, Erin Seybold

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources

Program/Major

Environmental Sciences

Primary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

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Influence of the Missisquoi Wetland on riverine nutrient cycling under different flow regimes

Riverine loading (input over a period of time) of nutrients can contribute to eutrophication in lakes. Therefore, understanding controls on riverine nutrient loading to lakes is important. Wetlands are key ecosystems in reducing nutrient loading of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) which contributes to eutrophication in water bodies because of their capacity of transform and retain nutrients. A high wetland productivity, or a wetland’s ability to uptake nutrients, can help reduce cyanobacteria blooms in water bodies. Productivity is a function of the amount of water flowing through a river over time (discharge) and how quickly water cycles through a wetland (residence time). It can vary seasonally based on light availability, temperature, biological activity, and precipitation. Wetlands can transform and retain nutrients through biological activity (uptake by plants and microbes) and particle settling. This project aims to characterize longitudinal profiles of particulate and dissolved nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations through the Missisquoi Bay wetland complex under varying seasonal discharge (flow regimes). Understanding the spatial and temporal dynamics of wetland productivity will help watershed scientists better define the ecosystem’s role in combatting nutrient loading and eutrophication in water bodies.