How do wetland soils affect the movement of salts through watersheds?

Kayla McGuire
Eastern Michigan University
Kayla McGuire is a first-year graduate student and assistant at Eastern Michigan University. She is majoring in Ecology, Evolutionary and Organismal Biology with an expected graduation date of 2017. She previously graduated from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in 2013 with a B.S. in Ecology, Evolutionary and Environmental Biology.
Other presenters/researchers: 
Dr. Kristin Judd, Eastern Michigan University

Road salting is a common practice that can have negative consequences on the surrounding environment and aquatic systems. Wetlands act as filters for some pollutants, but little is known about how they influence the movement of salt and also how salt movement might influence dissolved organic carbon (DOC) export. To test these ideas, a mesocosm approach will be used. Soil cores will be flushed with water with varying concentrations of salt. The effluent from these columns will then be measured for DOC content and salt retention over time. This research might elucidate important relationships between DOC export and salt retention and also highlight the importance of finding alternatives to typical road salting and also for saving and restoring wetland areas as important ecosystems for mitigation of detrimental anthropogenic inputs.

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