Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-07-31
Total Federal Funds: $14,150 Total Non-Federal Funds: $28,368
Principal Investigators: Richard Kaminski, Amy Spencer
Abstract: A successful and increasingly applied conservation practice in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) to mitigate loss of wetland wildlife habitat and improve water quality has been development and management of “moist-soil wetlands.” Within agricultural landscapes, such as common 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. Predictions have been made regarding ability of these wetlands to improve surface water quality; however no effort has been made to either quantify loads of sediments and nutrients in water discharged from moist-soil wetlands in Mississippi or to compare these water quality parameters between moist-soil wetlands and water discharged from agriculture fields. Additionally, a significant potential exists for native crayfish (Procambrus spp.) production and harvest as a provisionary ecosystem service for wildlife and humans from moist-soil wetlands in the MAV. Our proposed research is designed to quantify nutrient management, sediment abatement, and aquatic invertebrate production, with emphasis on crayfish, as ancillary ecosystem services provided by moist-soil wetland management in the Mississippi portion of the MAV. Specifically, our project will: (1) estimate nutrient and sediment concentration and load reductions as an ecosystem service provided by moist-soil wetlands in an agriculture-dominated landscape, (2) estimate production of crayfish and other aquatic invertebrates in moist-soil wetlands, and (3) conduct an economic analysis of crayfish harvest in moist-soil wetlands that can be provided to landowners. Evaluation of additional economical benefits such as a crayfish harvest may encourage landowners to establish and manage moist-soil wetlands thereby increasing environmental qualities throughout the MAV.