Impact of Restoration Activity on Wetland Soil Properties and Functions
Palardy, Christopher Andrew
Rabenhorst, Martin C
MetadataShow full item record
Due to the essential nature of wetlands and their historic losses, wetland restoration has been a recent focus of conservation activity. The objective of this study was to compare selected physical soil properties and those properties and processes associated with carbon sequestration in restored and natural freshwater depressional wetlands on the Delmarva Peninsula. Three distinct hydrological zones within nine restored and five natural wetlands were sampled and monitored over the course of a year. As a result of earthmoving activities, restored wetlands demonstrated significant compaction, potentially limiting root and hydrological infiltration. Restored wetlands also demonstrated shorter periods of saturation, which led to increased carbon decomposition rates. As a result of soil disturbance, restored wetlands had significantly lower carbon stocks than natural wetlands. Restored wetlands also demonstrated no difference in carbon content across the three hydrological zones, the time since restoration being too short for carbon stocks to appreciably accumulate.