Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011ND241B

Ecosystem Services and Wetland Condition Assessment in the Prairie Pothole Region

Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $4,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $8,001

Principal Investigators: Edward Dekeyser, Jack Norland

Abstract: This research proposal will address the state of wetland condition and benefits of ecosystem services in North Dakota wetlands. The extent of anthropogenic disturbance in North Dakota wetlands is currently unknown. Cropping and draining of wetlands are common disturbances in North Dakota and have been for many years, so it is important to document what the types and extent of disturbances are occurring in wetlands across the state. Condition assessments have been developed for North Dakota and other places across the nation; however, a statewide and nationwide condition assessment of wetlands has never been completed. Therefore, in the summer of 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is conducting a National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA) across the United States using a certain set of assessment methods. This national project will be the first condition assessment that will set a baseline for wetland monitoring over time. The objective of this project will be to provide a condition assessment of North Dakota wetlands, compare methods of the NWCA and the regional assessments, and to develop and assess ecosystem services models for wetlands in the PPR of North Dakota. Next summer, 50 selected sites in North Dakota will be assessed with NWCA methods and regional assessment methods. Using this data, models will be developed which relate existing wetland assessment data from regional studies to ecosystem services. A comparison of the NWCA data and results of the regional specific data and results will also be completed. The following summer (2012) will be spent collecting additional data that will help in the development of ecosystem services models. The ultimate goal of the models and the main focus of the research will be to estimate ecosystem services provided by PPR wetlands in North Dakota.