• Hydrogeomorphic Factors and Ecosystem Responses in Coastal Wetlands of the Great Lakes

      Keough, Janet R.; Thompson, Todd A.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Wilcox, Douglas A.; Indiana University - Bloomington; The College at Brockport; U.S. Geological Survey (1999-12-01)
      Gauging the impact of manipulative activities, such as rehabilitation or management, on wetlands requires having a notion of the unmanipulated condition as a reference. An understanding of the reference condition requires knowledge of dominant factors influencing ecosystem processes and biological communities. In this paper, we focus on natural physical factors (conditions and processes) that drive coastal wetland ecosystems of the Laurentian Great Lakes. Great Lakes coastal wetlands develop under conditions of largelake hydrology and disturbance imposed at a hierarchy of spatial and temporal scales and contain biotic communities adapted to unstable and unpredictable conditions. Coastal wetlands are configured along a continuum of hydrogeomorphic types: open coastal wetlands, drowned river mouth and Hooded delta wetlands, and protected wetlands, each developing distinct ecosystem properties and biotic communities. Hydrogeomorphic factors associated with the lake and watershed operate at a hierarchy of scales: a) local and short-term (seiches and ice action), b) watershed /lakewide /annual (seasonal water- level change), and c) larger or year-to-year and longer (regional and/or greater than one-year). Other physical factors include the unique water quality features of each lake. The aim of this paper is to provide scientists and managers with a framework for considering regional and site-specific geomorphometry and a hierarchy of physical processes in planning management and conservation projects.
    • Phosphorus Cycling in the Ellison Park Wetland at the Mouth of Irondequoit Creek, Rochester, NY: A Case Study Evaluating the Movement of Phosphorus as it Transits a Coastal Wetland of Lake Ontario

      McGuire, Elizabeth; The College at Brockport (2011-07-14)
      The Ellison Park wetland complex lies at the head of Irondequoit Bay, a large embayment on the south shore of Lake Ontario near Rochester, NY. It receives water from the Irondequoit Creek watershed, which drains an area of 391 km2 of mixed land use. This is a mature, marsh wetland with some locations encompassing riparian wetland characteristics. This project was developed to answer three objectives: what role hydrology plays in phosphorus (P) removal efficiency of the Ellison Park Wetland complex; what role sediments play in the retention or release of P; and the possibility of predicting P discharge from the Ellison Park Wetland into Irondequoit Bay. The results for soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) and total phosphorus (TP) show values in stream and wetland water samples during baseflow event periods ranging from 5.01 to 10.87 µg L-1 for SRP and 22.73 to 88.67 µg L-1 for TP. Stormflow event water samples are typically at higher concentrations ranging from 6.24 to 9.300 µg L-1 for SRP and 46.65 to 428.33 µg L-1 for TP. The SRP and TP values give evidence that hydrologic event type plays a significant role in the quantity of P in Irondequoit Creek and its removal efficiency by Ellison Park. In addition, data suggests the direction of P flux in Ellison Park moves from the wetland sediments to the depleted water column; a result of historical nutrient loading. Modeling of TP data produced prediction errors of less than 5%, suggesting that Ellison Park tends to react in a predictable manner when regarding TP data in relation to hydrologic event type.
    • Regional Aquifer-System Analysis Program of the U.S. Geological Survey; Summary of Projects, 1978-84

      Sun, Ren Jen; USGS (1986-01-01)
      The Regional Aquifer-System Analysis Program of the U.S. Geological Survey was initiated in 1978 as a result of specifications of the appropriations bill of the 95th Congress, prompted by the 1977 drought. The purpose of this program is to define the regional hydrology and geology and to establish a framework of background information of geology, hydrology, and geochemistry of the Nation 's important aquifer systems. This information is critically needed to develop an understanding of groundwater flow systems, and to support better groundwater resources management. As of 1984, investigations of seven regional aquifer systems were completed, nine regional aquifer systems were still being studied, and three new studies were started. This report summarizes the status of each investigation of the regional aquifer systems under the program from 1978 through 1984. The nature of the summaries differs somewhat from study to study. For those studies which either have been completed or are near completion, summaries of results are presented. For projects that are not near completion or have just been started, discussions may be brief and focus on problem issues or hydrogeologic conditions. All reports resulting from the study as of 1984 are listed at the end of each summary. A list of project chiefs and their offices is also included in the report for those who are interested in obtaining additional information. (See also W87-07313 thru W87-07335) (Author 's abstract)
    • Techniques for Restoration of Disturbed Coastal Wetlands of the Great Lakes

      Wilcox, Douglas A.; Whillans, Thomas H.; The College at Brockport; Trent University (1999-12-01)
      A long history of human-induced degradation of Great Lakes wetlands has made restoration a necessity, but the practice of wetland restoration is relatively new, especially in large lake systems. Therefore, we compiled tested methods and developed additional potential methods based on scientific understanding of Great Lakes wetland ecosystems to provide an overview of approaches fur restoration. We addressed this challenge by focusing on four general fields of science: hydrology, sedimentology, chemistry, and biology. Hydrologic remediation methods include restoring hydrologic connections between diked and hydrologically altered wetlands and the lakes, restoring water tables lowered by ditching, and restoring natural variation in lake levels of regulated lakes Superior and Ontario. Sedimentological remediation methods include management of sediment input from uplands, removal or proper management of dams on tributary rivers. and restoration of protective barrier beaches and sand spits. Chemical remediation methods include reducing or eliminating inputs of contaminants from point and non-point sources, natural sediment remediation by biodegradation and chemical degradation, and active sediment remediation by removal or by in situ treatment. Biological remediation methods include control of non-target organisms, enhancing populations of target organisms, and enhancing habitat for target organisms. Some of these methods were used in three major restoration projects (Metzger Marsh on Lake Erie and Cootes Paradise and Oshawa Second Marsh on Lake Ontario). which are described as case studies to show practical applications of wetland restoration in the Great Lakes. Successful restoration techniques that do not require continued manipulation must be founded in the basic tenets of ecology and should mimic natural processes. Success is demonstrated by the sustainability, productivity, nutrient-retention ability, invasibility, and biotic interactions within a restored wetland.
    • Typha (Cattail) Invasion in North American Wetlands: Biology, Regional Problems, Impacts, Ecosystem Services, and Management

      Bansal, Sheel; Wilcox, Douglas A.; Lishawa, Shane C.; Tangen, Brian A.; The College at Brockport (2019-01-01)
      Typha is an iconic wetland plant found worldwide. Hybridization and anthropogenic disturbances have resulted in large increases in Typha abundance in wetland ecosystems throughout North America at a cost to native floral and faunal biodiversity. As demonstrated by three regional case studies, Typha is capable of rapidly colonizing habitats and forming monodominant vegetation stands due to traits such as robust size, rapid growth rate, and rhizomatic expansion. Increased nutrient inputs into wetlands and altered hydrologic regimes are among the principal anthropogenic drivers of Typha invasion. Typha is associated with a wide range of negative ecological impacts to wetland and agricultural systems, but also is linked with a variety of ecosystem services such as bioremediation and provisioning of biomass, as well as an assortment of traditional cultural uses. Numerous physical, chemical, and hydrologic control methods are used to manage invasive Typha, but results are inconsistent and multiple methods and repeated treatments often are required. While this review focuses on invasive Typha in North America, the literature cited comes from research on Typha and other invasive species from around the world. As such, many of the underlying concepts in this review are relevant to invasive species in other wetland ecosystems worldwide.