Goats and Phragmites
Having grown up in and visited wetlands in the 5 Boros, I can attest to the density of Phragmites stands, which can span many acres wide and deep.
Freshkills Park, (formerly the much denigrated Freshkills landfill) in Staten Island came up with an unorthodox method of clearing the area with goats. For a period of 6 weeks the goats will eat their way through the 2 acres reeds. Once completed, the remaining rhizones (roots) which will put forth new shoots, seeming instantaneously, and will be treated with herbicide to make way for natural species, including Spartina grasses.
Very interested in seeing how this turn out.
The original article is located here:
2 New Ramsar sites in the USA
Two new Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance, were designated in the United States this week!
Excerpted from the Ramsar Release:
Congaree National Park in South Carolina is a mosaic of freshwater swamp forests, seasonal sloughs, forested peatlands, permanent and seasonal creeks, permanent freshwater lakes, and shrub-dominated wetlands, containing the largest remaining example of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in North America.
The site is an important over-wintering area for large numbers of temperate migrants and year-round residents. One winter census documented over 2,000 birds per 101ha, one of the highest wintering bird densities reported in the United States. It supports 56 species of fish, or almost 40% of the freshwater fish species known to exist in South Carolina.
The second new site, The Emiquon Complex is a combination of comprises three existing protected areas, the Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, the Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge, and Emiquon Preserve that are owned US Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy. The complex lies within the former natural floodplain of the Illinois River, and as in other large-floodplain river systems, the dynamic relationship between the river and its floodplain creates a diversity of habitats including bottomland lakes, side channels, sloughs, marsh, bottomland hardwood forests, and wet, mesic and dry prairies.
Swamp Mud and Boing Boing
Two cool blog posts from one of my favorite websites, www.boingboing.net. Maggie Koerth-Baker, the in-house science blogger visited the Harvard Forest in Massachusetts, one of the most researched forests in the world, to delve into the why and how of research. As a part of her trip, she visited a swamp, and gave the casual reader an idea of how swamp soil is sampled and classified, something a wetland scientist typically does. Boingboing is perennially rated as one of the top 20 blogs worldwide, so this article is great exposure for a field that remains unknown to most, and mysterious to all the rest.
Using a hand operated auger, Maggie drilled into the swamp soil and extracted multiple 50cm long core samples that tell a story of the conditions and chemical composition of the swamp throughout the last 6,000 years. Beginning at the top of the core sample, there are large chunks of organic material, which as the sample stratification progresses downwards, decrease in size. Finally closest to the bottom of the core, the organic material has largely disappeared, leaving only greyish clay. Using a Munsell Soil Chart, the color of the soil is compared to the chart to make a determination of the type and consistency of the soil for further study.
Both of the blog posts are here:
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Recent Wetland Wiki Changes
Wetlands in the News
- Watsonville Wetlands Watch opposes Measure T - Register Pajaronian
- READER SUBMITTED: NRCS Seeks Sign-Ups Or Wetlands Conservation ... - Hartford Courant
- Groups disagree over proposed wetland law changes - San Francisco Chronicle
- Common Ground Found on Wetlands Bill - ecoRI news
- Wetlands Reserve Program boosts frog populations - Houma Courier