State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2009MS86B
Title: Water quality and other ecosystem services performed in wetlands managed for waterfowl in Mississippi
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2009
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: 3rd
Focus Categories: Wetlands, Ecology, Water Quality
Keywords: Aquatic invertebrates, Ecosystems, Sedimentation, Water Quality, Watershed management, Wetlands
Principal Investigator: Kaminski, Richard ; Spencer, Amy B.
Federal Funds: $ 11,555
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 23,763
Abstract: Wetlands are ecologically, environmentally, and economically valuable worldwide. Natural moist-soil emergent vegetated wetlands, abundant in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV), are generally flooded during fall-winter and then dewatered naturally by evaporation or by managers during spring-summer to promote growth of annual grasses and sedges. The life-history strategies of these plants are adapted for production of abundant seeds or tubers that are used by a wide diversity of waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. Within agricultural landscapes, such as in the MAV, strategic location of moist-soil wetlands amid farmed lands can reduce dispersal of sediments and other nutrients into surrounding watersheds and thus enhance water and environmental qualities. Additionally, seasonal decay of native vegetation in wetlands sustains nutrient cycling and is the foundation of detrital based food webs in these systems. Crayfish (Procambarus spp.) and other aquatic invertebrates inhabiting moist-soil wetlands are bio-indicators of quality freshwater wetlands. Moreover, besides being bio-indicators of quality wetlands, crayfish can provide additional economic gain and food for landowners. Our objectives are: (1) generate baseline water quality-data for describing potential watershed-quality improvements provided by moist-soil management, (2) model factors contributing to the formation of a detrital-based food web of crayfish and other invertebrates within these managed wetlands, and (3) estimate population size, survival, and recruitment of crayfish populations to assess economic potential for sustainable harvest of this resource from natural wetlands for human consumption. Increased awareness of multiple ecological, environmental, and economic benefits of moist-soil management has potential to enhance water quality, wetland conservation, biodiversity, and economic values of public and private lands in Mississippi and the MAV.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF
Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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