5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Josefin Thorslund
Session Name Restoration and Connectivity
Author(s) Josefin Thorslund,  University of Florida (School of Forest Resources and Conservation) (Presenting Author)
  Matthew  Cohen,  University of Florida (School of Forest Resources and Conservation)
  Jerker Jarsj√∂, Stockholm University
  Using combined water and solute balances to explore wetland connectivity across space and time
  The hydrological and geochemical connections between geographically isolated wetland (GIW) complexes and downstream waters can vary depending on multiple factors, such as landscape position, wetland size, geological attributes and climate. Understanding these connections and what drives them are relevant for determining how best to conserve landscape scale water quality and storage functions that these wetlands provide, under the impact of current and future changes (e.g. climate and human priorities). Further, focusing on geographically isolated wetlands is motivated by several aspects. Not only are they generally smaller than other wetland classes and thus more sensitive to changes in climate, they are often the majority in numbers compared to other wetlands, but commonly lack legal protection by the U.S law due to their geographic isolation from navigable waters. We here seek to upscale findings from individual wetlands to better assess interactions within and between wetland complexes and drainage features at the catchment scale. Such a perspective is relevant for understanding cumulative effects on downstream waters. We combine long term climatic data with chloride concentrations from different GIW types and regions across the US to evaluate spatial, temporal and categorical patterns of wetland solute concentrations and what it suggest about the hydrologic connectivity between wetlands and their surrounding landscape. By increasing our understanding of possible interactions across wider scales and different regions and enumerating the relative role of various controlling factors (e.g. climate and land-use changes), we are in a better position for predicting changes to and appropriately manage valuable water resources.