Conservation significantly improves wetland conditions: evaluation of playa wetlands in different conservation status

Hong Zhang, Zhenghong Tang, Andy Bishop, Jeff Drahota, Ted LaGrange, Dana Varner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study assessed the conditions of wetland hydrology, hydrophyte and soil under different state and federal conservation programs, and then identified the restorable potential of conserved playas. The distribution of hydrology and hydrophyte were geospatially examined through annual tracking the quantity and quality of wetlands on historical hydric soil footprints under different conservation programs in the Rainwater Basin in Nebraska, USA during 2004–2015. The results show that the historical hydric soil footprints with the conservation programs had significantly better performance in ponded water and hydrophyte than non-conserved wetlands. The yearly average of ponded water areas within footprints varies at 12.59% for the Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs), 14.78% for Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), 27.37% for Wetlands Reserve Program’s conservation easements (WRPs), and 1.86% for non-conserved wetlands, respectively. The yearly average of hydrophyte plant community coverage within footprints reaches at 77.51% for WPAs, 79.28% for WMAs, and 66.53% for WRPs, and 8.82% for non-conserved hydric footprints. Within conserved lands, Massie/Water soil series demonstrated the prominent ability to hold ponding water, especially in the ponded footprints with higher ponding frequency. Nevertheless, the proportion of Fillmore, Rusco or Butler soil series roughly decreased when the ponding water frequency increased. The areas, with high likelihood to be restored, are the places between annual ponding/hydrophyte covered areas and 11 years’ maximized ponding/hydrophyte areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalWetlands Ecology and Management
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

wetland conservation
playas
playa
conservation status
footprint
Wetlands Reserve Program
conservation programs
wetlands
hydric soils
wetland
wildlife management
waterfowl
hydrology
water
soil
plant communities
soil water
basins
rain
rainwater

Keywords

  • Conservation programs
  • Historical hydric soil footprints
  • Hydrophyte
  • Playa wetland
  • Ponding
  • Rainwater basin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Conservation significantly improves wetland conditions : evaluation of playa wetlands in different conservation status. / Zhang, Hong; Tang, Zhenghong; Bishop, Andy; Drahota, Jeff; LaGrange, Ted; Varner, Dana.

In: Wetlands Ecology and Management, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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