Webb, Frederick J., Jr. (ed.) / Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference on Wetlands Restoration and Creation : May 10-11, 1990
Stoltzfus, Dwight L.; Munro, John W.
Comparison of substrate types and transplant methods in constructed Sphagnum wetland models, pp. 157-170 PDF (4.2 MB)
COMPARISON OF SUBSTRATE TYPES AND TRANSPLANT METHODS IN CONSTRUCTED SPHAGNUM WETLAND MODELS Dwight L. Stoltzfus John W. Munro Munro Ecological Services, Inc. 990 Old Sumneytown Pike Harleysville, Pennsylvania 19438 ABSTRACT Sphagnum wetland models were designed to determine the effectiveness of hardwood sawdust-wood chip substrate combination in establishing an organic substrate in newly constructed Sphagnum wetlands. With an acid mine drainage affected water source, these emodels were used: (1) to determine optimal hydrologic flow rates through the different substrate combinations, (2) to determine comparative growth rates of Sphagnum fallax and S. fimbriatum, and (3) to compare the effectiveness of these model systems in removing iron and manganese. Optimal levels of hydrologic flow with minimal surface erosion were found with a sawdust-woodchip substrate combination. Greater growth of S. fallax illustrates the importance of species selection in the construction of Sphagnum wetlands. Different transplant methods resulted in varied rates of increase in cover in relation to the transplant method. A sawdust substrate was initially more effective in removing iron and manganese. INTRODUCTION Sphagnum-dominated bogs and natural wetlands occur in areas characterized by low pH, an organic layer of generally less than one meter, and a water table level at or near the surface. Naturally occurring areas in Pennsylvania typically are located in areas with acid, nutrient=poor soils overlying sandstone bedrock. Wetlands dominated by Sphagnum, sedge, and grass species are also typical of areas with water sources affected by acid mine drainage (AMD) resulting from surface-mining and deep-mining of coal. These areas are characterized by low pH and high concentrations of iron, manganese, and sulfates. The importance of developing methods for restoration and creation of Sphagnum-dominated wetland areas arises out of the need for constructing these wetlands to replace or restore similar areas that are damaged or eliminated. Recent studies of the effectiveness of Sphagnum wetlands in providing for partial treatment of acid mine drainage (Burris, 1984; Brooks et al., 1985; Hammer, 1989; Wieder, 1990) also show the importance of continuing the development, improvement, and testing of construction methods. Concepts in the design of this 5-year experiment include the use of plant species present in similar naturally occurring wetland areas, the 157
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