Sedimentation of prairie wetlands

Great Plains Research
By:  and 



Many wetlands in the prairie pothole region are embedded within an agricultural landscape where they are subject to varying degrees of siltation. Cultivation of wetland catchment areas has exacerbated soil erosion; wetlands in agricultural fields receive more sediment from upland areas than wetlands in grassland landscapes and hence are subject to premature filling (i.e., they have shorter topographic lives). Associated impacts from increased turbidity, sediment deposition, and increased surface water input likely have impaired natural wetland functions. Although trapping of sediments by wetlands is often cited as a water quality benefit, sediment input from agricultural fields has potential to completely fill wetlands and shorten their effective life-span. Thus, the value placed on wetlands to trap sediments is in conflict with maximizing the effective topographic life of wetlands. Herein, we provide an overview of sedimentation, identify associated impacts on wetlands, and suggest remedial management strategies. We also highlight the need to evaluate the impact of agricultural practices on wetland functions from an interdisciplinary approach to facilitate development of best management practices that benefit both wetland and agricultural interests.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Sedimentation of prairie wetlands
Series title Great Plains Research
Volume 8
Year Published 1998
Language English
Publisher The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description 16 p.
First page 97
Last page 112
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