Wetland Dynamics and Potential Applications within the Great Miami River Watershed to Address Elevated Levels of Agriculturally-Derived Nitrates
Changes in agricultural practices in the Mississippi River Basin, especially high-density row crop farming and increased fertilizer usage, affect the overall total of loose, agriculturally-derived nitrates that flow through defined watersheds. Wetlands, on this note, function as filters for such water-soluble compounds like nitrates through physical mechanisms (sorption, sedimentation, and volatilization), chemical mechanisms (transformation and precipitation), and the biological mechanism of plant uptake. Thus, wetland subsections serve a vital role in watershed dynamics by removing nitrates from the macroscopic fluid-flow through the system. However, in numerous watershed-scale studies, expected empirical effects of wetlands have not been numerically realized. This is potentially due to the destructive interference between the nitrate removal effects of wetlands and the nitrate additive effects of increased crop coverage in studied regions. Thus, a study was designed and executed to isolate the effects of each of these mechanisms and compare the effectiveness of wetlands with other nitrate removal techniques; resulting from this study, it was shown that, per unit area, wetlands are five times more efficient at reducing water-soluble nitrate concentrations than the most effective land-based nitrogen removal strategies. A similar study in the Great Miami River Watershed, where more than 40% of streams do not meet Ohio’s water quality standards, is vital to improve water quality and nutrient management and. Here we will use water quality data, land use and drainage maps to suggest potential wetland locations in the Great Miami River watershed that would alleviate the problem of elevated levels of agriculturally-derived nitrates within the region.
Zelalem K Bedaso
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium poster
"Wetland Dynamics and Potential Applications within the Great Miami River Watershed to Address Elevated Levels of Agriculturally-Derived Nitrates" (2018). Stander Symposium Posters. 1213.