Craft, C.B., E.D. Seneca, and S.W. Broome. 1991. Porewater chemistry of natural and created marsh soils. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 152:187-200.

Abstract: Chemistry of porewaters and soils were compared in a low organic matter (1%) created marsh established on an upland site in 1983 and a high organic matter ( 50%) natural marsh nearby to characterize the role of created wetlands in estuarine nutrient cycles. Porewater physico-chemical properties (water level, temperature, salinity, dissolved O2, pH, redox potential (Eh), Fe, Mn) and nutrient (organic C, N, P, NH4, NO3, PO4) concentrations were monitored monthly for 1 yr in the two marshes. Soil nutrients (organic C, N, P), physical properties (bulk density, texture, porosity, hydraulic conductivity) and chemical characteristics (Eh, Fe, Mn, Al) also were measured at the end of the study. 5 yr after emergent vegetation was established, the conversion from upland porewater and soil properties to typical wetland characteristics was incomplete. Dissolved O2, Eh, Fe, Mn and NO3–N were significantly higher in created marsh porewaters as compared to porewaters collected from the natural marsh. The created marsh also contained lower porewater dissolved organic D and N, NH4–N and PO4–P and had lower pH. Soil bulk density and extractable Fe were significantly higher, and porosity, hydraulic conductivity, pH, total organic C and N, and exchangeable NH4–N and NO3–N were lower in the created marsh than in the natural marsh soil. These results imply that mitigation of wetland disturbance by creating wetlands on graded upland sites, initially, may not duplicate the hydrologic and nutrient cycling functions associated with natural wetlands that have developed over many years.

Key words: Estuary; Mitigation; Nutrient cycling; Wetland

Reprinted from Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol. 152. Craft, C.B., E.D. Seneca, and S.W. Broome: Porewater chemistry of natural and created marsh soils. Pp. 187-200. 1991, with permission from Elsevier Science.

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