State Water Resources Research Institute Program
Project ID: 2009OR112B
Title: Vegetation and Soil Processes in Restored Wetlands
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2009
End Date: 2/28/2014
Congressional District: 5th
Focus Categories: Wetlands, Conservation, Management and Planning
Keywords: Watershed management, wetlands
Principal Investigator: Santelmann, Mary
Federal Funds: $ 9,955
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 42,436
Abstract: The specific issues addressed by this project are the deterioration and loss of aquatic/riparian habitat, especially wetlands; and (2) protection of wetland resources by enhancing our understanding of practices that lead to effective restoration. Wetland restoration is being considered as a watershed-scale tool for assisting in meeting societal needs for ecosystem services (Willamette Partnership 2008). By quantifying the potential level of ecosystem services that result from wetland restoration, it may become possible to incorporate the value of wetland ecosystem services into credit trading programs. However, methods generally used to evaluate wetland functions rely on characteristics assumed to be associated with functions (e.g., denitrification) in the absence of measured data concerning wetland performance of such a function; quantitative data are needed.
In collaboration with the USDA NRCS, Portland Metro, and Institute for Applied Ecology, we will investigate relationships among wetland restoration methods, establishment of native vegetation and soil characteristics in influencing (1) native plant diversity and abundance (2) soil potential for denitrification as measured by denitrifying enzyme activity (DEA) and (3) size and composition of the microbial denitrifier community at three restored wetland sites, three natural wetland sites, and three sites that are currently being cropped, but resemble restored wetlands prior to restoration.
Project objectives are: