Resources

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Quantification of seasonal sediment and phosphorus transport dynamics

Abstract - Purpose: Phosphorus (P) is a limiting nutrient for most US Midwestern aquatic systems and, therefore, increases of P, through point or non-point sources (NPS) of pollution such as agriculture, causes eutrophication. Identifying specific NPS contributions (e.g., upland vs. stream channels) for sediments and P is difficult due to the distributed nature of the pollution. Therefore, studies which link the spatial and temporal aspects of sediment and P transport in these systems can help better characterize the extent of NPS pollution. Materials and methods Our study used fingerprinting techniques to determine sources of sediments in an agricultural watershed (the North Fork of the Pheasant Branch watershed; 12.4 km2 area) in Wisconsin, USA, during the spring, summer, and fall seasons of 2009. The primary sources considered were uplands (cultivated fields), stream bank, and streambed. The model used fallout radionuclides, 137Cs, and 210Pbxs, along with total P to determine primary sediment sources. A shorter-lived fallout radioisotope, 7Be, was used to determine the sediment age and percent new sediments in streambed and suspended sediment samples (via the 7Be/210Pbxs ratio). Results and discussion Upland areas were the primary source of suspended sediments in the stream channels followed by stream banks. The sediment age and percent new sediment for the streambed and suspended sediments showed that the channel contained and transported newer (or more recently tagged with 7Be) sediments in the spring season (9–131 days sediment age), while relatively old sediments (165–318 days) were moving through the channel system during the fall season. Conclusions Upland areas are the major contributors to instream suspended sediments in this watershed. Sediment resuspension in stream channels could play an important role during the later part of the year. Best management practices should be targeted in the upland areas to reduce the export of sediments and sediment-bound P fromagricultural watersheds.

Helping Farmers Protect Water Quality

2015 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference presentation by Amy Gilhouse, National Fish and Wildlife Federation

Reducing Phosphorus Loadings and Harmful Algal Blooms

Reducing Phosphorus Loadings and Harmful Algal Blooms - A Report of the Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority

The Powerful Partnership – Plants and Pollinators

2016 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference presentation by Meghan Milbrath of Michigan State University

Where and when to restore? Developing a practical rapid assessment method to prioritize areas for ecological management

2016 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference presentation by Justin Heslinga of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan.

Utilizing a Terrestrial Invasive Species Rapid Response Team for Landscape Level Management in the Adirondack Park

2016 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference presentation by Zachary Simek.

Butterflies and Moths of North America

The Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) project is ambitious effort to collect and provide access to quality-controlled data about butterflies and moths for the continent of North America from Panama to Canada.

Evaluating Water Quality Best Management Practice Effectiveness to Inform Decision

2015 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference presentation by Emma Giese, Chesapeake Research Consortium

Climate Change Projections for Tree Species

Michigan’s forests will be affected by climate change during the 21st century. Several reports describe the climate change risks to forests in Michigan and the Midwest (Pryor et al. 2014, Handler et al. 2012). Foresters and researchers can use experience and information from past events to develop expectations about how future change might affect forests, but there are limits to what we can learn from the past. This handout shows projections for two climate scenarios to “bracket” a range of possible futures. Results for “low” and “high” climate scenarios can be compared side-by-side to get a sense for the range of possible outcomes.

The Loss of Wildlands At the National and Minnesota Scales Since European Settlement

2016 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference presentation by Bruce D. Anderson.

Reducing Community Vulnerability and Increasing Resilience Through Ecological Design

2015 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference presentation by Steve Witman, Resilience Planning and Design, LLC

Impact of dredging on phosphorus transport in agricultural ditches

ABSTRACT: Drainage ditches can be a key conduit of phosphorus (P) between agricultural soils of the Atlantic Coastal Plain and local surface waters, including the Chesapeake Bay. This study sought to quantify the effect of a common ditch management practice, sediment dredging, on fate of P in drainage ditches. Sediments from two drainage ditches that had been monitored for seven years and had similar characteristics (flow, P loadings, sediment properties) were sampled (0-5 cm) after one of the ditches had been dredged, which removed fine textured sediments (clay = 41%) with high organic matter content (85 g ⁄ kg) and exposed coarse textured sediments (clay = 15%) with low organic matter content (2.2 g ⁄ kg). Sediments were subjected to a three-phase experiment (equilibrium, uptake, and release) in recirculating 10-m-long, 0.2-m-wide, and 5-cm-deep flumes to evaluate their role as sources and sinks of P. Under conditions of low initial P concentrations in flume water, sediments from the dredged ditch released 13 times less P to the water than did sediments from the ditch that had not been dredged, equivalent to 24 mg dissolved P. However, the sediments from the dredged ditch removed 19% less P (76 mg) from the flume water when it was spiked with dissolved P to approximate long-term runoff concentrations. Irradiation of sediments to destroy microorganisms revealed that biological processes accounted for up to 30% of P uptake in the coarse textured sediments of the dredged ditch and 18% in the fine textured sediments of the undredged ditch. Results indicate that dredging of coastal plain drainage ditches can potentially impact the P buffering capacity of ditches draining agricultural soils with a high potential for P runoff. (KEY TERMS: nonpoint source pollution; nutrients; transport and fate; water conservation.)

Phosphorus dynamics within agricultural drainage ditches

Excessive phosphorus loading from fertilizers in agriculture results in enriched runoff and downstream aquatic system eutrophication. This study evaluated phosphorus dynamics in agricultural drainage ditches across eight sites within the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (LMAV). The objective of the study was to examine the capacity of drainage ditches across the LMAV to sorb P. Spatially and temporally, all drainage ditch sediments had very low immediately bioavailable phosphorus (Pw), and a very low degree of phosphorus saturation (DPS < 20%) throughout the LMAV. Phosphorus binding energy (K) (0.34–0.60 L/mg) and P sorption maxima (17.8–26.6 L/mg) were low, with very little variation in space and time. Using these metrics, drainage ditches sampled within the LMAV could be described as P sinks, capable of sorbing varying degrees of P seasonally as a result to changes in the Fe-P pool. Sorption, however, will likely be low due to low P sorption maxima and low binding energies. These results will help in P management within primary aquatic systems (such as drainage ditches) within the agricultural landscape and enhance P mitigation strategies at the source, prior to runoff reaching downstream aquatic systems.

Brent Run Creek Relocation

2016 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference presentation by Brian Majka of GEI Consultants of Michigan.

Urban Food, Energy, and Water Sustainability, Part I

2016 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference presentation by Patrick Crouch of Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Beth Hagenbuch of Bagenbuch Weikal Landscape Architecture, and Jamie Scripps of 5 Lakes Energy.

From Clipboard to Drone: Monitoring Wild "River" Rice by Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Part II

2016 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference presentation by Stephen W. Allen of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi.

Restoring Native Prairie Habitat in a Suburban Campus Landscape

2016 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference presentation by Deanna Geelhoed and Kara Smit of Calvin College.

Climate Change in the United States: Highlights

Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present. Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington State, and maple syrup producers in Vermont are all observing climate-related changes that are outside of recent experience. So, too, are coastal planners in Florida, water managers in the arid Southwest, city dwellers from Phoenix to New York, and Native Peoples on tribal lands from Louisiana to Alaska. This National Climate Assessment concludes that the evidence of human-induced climate change continues to strengthen and that impacts are increasing across the country.

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