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Lecture

RNR Notes 103


Department
Renewable Natural Resources
Course Code
RNR 1001
Professor
All

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WETLANDSWHY DO WE CARE?
Store and regulate streamflow
o Wetlands reduce the serevity and frequency of flooding - $3-4 billion in annual losses
o Increase slow infiltration and percolation of water to recharge aquifers
o Access to riparian wetlands reduces bank erosion, stream bed scouring
Also provides temporary habitat for some organisms from the stream
o Loss of riparian wetlands has changed the way rivers and streams function
o Many riparian wetlands have been destroyed by levees
o Without lateral movement during storms, downstream flooding becomes much worse
Improve water quality
o Wetlands trap sediments, reducing turbidity and building terrestrial systems
o Many pollutants, particularly organic pollutants, are degraded in wetlands by bacteria
o Constructed wetlands have been used to treat effluents:
Agricultural runoff, 46% of nitrogen removed
Secondary-treated sewage, CW can remove nutrients, metals, microbes, and viruses
1.3 million gallons/day put into a 66 ha Florida wetland; removed of 70% of the ammonia,
99% of the nitrogen, 95% of the phosphorous
Waterfowl production
o 60-70% of N.A. ducks nest and breed in the prairie pothole regionlosses to agriculture
o 2.5 million mallards and all wood ducks winter in flooded southern bottomland hardwood swamps
o 60% of western ducks and geese overwinter in CA’s Central Valley-95% wetland loss
o Foraging in cropland-pesticides, heavy metals from irrigation
o Wetland loss critical to long-term waterfowl production
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