USGS Grant Number:
Year Established: 2022 Start Date: 2022-12-01 End Date: 2025-11-30
Total Federal Funds: $248,418 Total Non-Federal Funds: $248,418
Principal Investigators: Paul Ayayee
Abstract: There is an urgent need to assess the impacts of existing management strategies and practices under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (WSR) in the United States. We will generate empirical data that defines the potential benefits of such practices and encourages their expansion and adoption. This proposal seeks to investigate how different management plans and designation status influence stream ecosystem processes, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in a protected National Wild and Scenic River and an unprotected urban river in Nebraska. We will link integrative, ecosystem-level measures of benthic productivity, microbiome composition, microbe-mediated fluxes (using infra-red laser sensors), trophic dynamics using naturally abundant carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotope analyses, and ecosystem process rates between these two systems. Data generated from this proposal will provide an integrated picture of the value and importance of freshwater ecosystems' management practices and the WSR act's potential far-reaching impact.