Estimating the effects of wetland conservation practices in croplands: Approaches for modeling in CEAP–Cropland Assessment

CEAP-Wetlands Science Note
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Abstract

Quantifying the current and potential benefits of conservation practices can be a valuable tool for encouraging greater practice adoption on agricultural lands. A goal of the CEAP-Cropland Assessment is to estimate the environmental effects of conservation practices that reduce losses (exports) of soil, nutrients, and pesticides from farmlands to streams and rivers. The assessment approach combines empirical data on reported cropland practices with simulation modeling that compares field-level exports for scenarios “with practices” and “without practices.”

Conserved, restored, and created wetlands collectively represent conservation practices that can influence sediment and nutrient exports from croplands. However, modeling the role of wetlands within croplands presents some challenges, including the potential for negative impacts of sediment and nutrient inputs on wetland functions.

This Science Note outlines some preliminary solutions for incorporating wetlands and wetland practices into the CEAP-Cropland modeling framework. First, modeling the effects of wetland practices requires identifying wetland hydrogeomorphic type and accounting for the condition of both the wetland and an adjacent upland zone. Second, modeling is facilitated by classifying wetland-related practices into two functional categories (wetland and upland buffer). Third, simulating practice effects requires alternative field configurations to account for hydrological differences among wetland types. These ideas are illustrated for two contrasting wetland types (riparian and depressional).

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Title Estimating the effects of wetland conservation practices in croplands: Approaches for modeling in CEAP–Cropland Assessment
Series title CEAP-Wetlands Science Note
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Natural Resources Conservation Service
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description 6 p.