Denitrification potential and organic matter as affected by vegetation community, wetland age, and plant introduction in created wetlands
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Series/Report no.:Annual report (Olentangy River Wetland Research Park)
Denitrification potential and organic matter in soils were compared in three different vegetation communities— emergent macrophtye, open water, and forested edge—in two ten-year old created riverine wetlands. Organic matter (OM), cold water extractable organic matter (CWEOM), anaerobic mineralizable carbon (AnMC) and denitrification potential (DP) varied significantly (P<0.05) among vegetation communities. The surface (0-9 cm) soils in the emergent macrophyte community showed highest DP (0.07 ± 0.01 mg N h-1 Kkg-1), OM (84.90 ± 5.60 g kg-1), CWEOM (1.12 ± 0.20 g kg-1) and AnMC (1.50 ± 0.10 mg C h-1 Kkg-1). In the deeper layer (9-18 cm), DP and CWEOM (0.04 ± 0.01 mg N h-1 Kkg-1 and 1.13 ± 0.20 g kg-1) were significantly higher in the open water community than in the emergent macrophyte, and the forested edge communities. Plant introduction did not affect denitrification potential or organic matter content and characteristics. After ten years of wetland development, mean DP increased 25 fold in the surface layer (from 0.002 to 0.053 mg N h-1 Kkg-1) and 15 fold in the deeper layer (from 0.001 to 0.015 mg N h-1 Kkg-1). Organic matter content more than doubled 10 years after the wetlands were created to 90.80 ± 19.22 g kg-1 in the upper layer and increased 38% in the lower layer to 46.93 ± 3.85 g kg-1. In the surface layer, CWEOM and HWEOM increased 2.5 and 2.7 times respectively from 1993 (pre-wetland conditions) to 2004; in the 9-18 cm layer they increased 1.25 and 3 times, respectively. AnMC increased 4 times in the 0-9 cm layer but it did not increase in the 9-18 cm layer. Humic acids were the most abundant form of organic matter in 2004 and 1993 samples. Significant (P<0.05) positive relationships between DP and OM, CWEOM and AnMC were found in the surface layer; in the 9-18 cm layer, significant positive relationships were found between DP and CWEOM and AnMC.
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