Long-term water Table dynamics of forested wetlands: Drivers and their effects on wetland hydrology in the southeastern Atlantic Coastal Plain

  • Authors: Amatya, D. M.; Chescheir, G. M.; Williams, T. M.; Skaggs, R. W.; Tian, S.
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Wetlands
  • DOI: 10.1007/s13157-019-01153-y

Abstract

Sustainable management of forested wetlands requires an understanding of water Table (WT) dynamics affected by rainfall and evapotranspiration (ET) and management practices, designed to sustain water quality, quantity, and ecosystem functions and productivity. In this paper analysis of long-term data from four drained and six undrained sites on coastal forested wetlands showed that their growing season WT dynamics depends upon ET as affected by vegetation stand age, with undrained sites yielding deeper WT than the drained young sites but shallower than the mature ones. Wetland hydrology criterion was not met on any of the drained sites including with controlled drainage and one unditched site with moderately well-drained sandy soil, where the WT was within 30 cm of the surface for <8% of the time compared to 31% or greater on undrained sites. WT response was similar on both drained and undrained watersheds soon after vegetation removal compared to the baseline level. Similarly, the WT dynamics on all soil types and vegetation behaved similarly during extreme storms. No trend was found in limited annual mean WT data. These results may have implications for coastal wetland forest restoration and modeling studies relating wetland hydrology as affected by anthropogenic and natural disturbances.

  • Citation: Amatya, D. M.; Chescheir, G. M.; Williams, T. M.; Skaggs, R. W.; Tian, S. 2019. Long-term water Table dynamics of forested wetlands: Drivers and their effects on wetland hydrology in the southeastern Atlantic Coastal Plain. Wetlands. 54(6): 2087-. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13157-019-01153-y.
  • Keywords: drained forests, poorly drained soils, precipitation, evapotranspiration, extreme event
  • Posted Date: August 9, 2019
  • Modified Date: August 26, 2019
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.