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Plant Invasions and Nutrient Dynamics in Freshwater Wetlands

Key Personnel
   Gary Ervin, lead PI
   Gray Turnage, co-PI, MSU Geosystems Research Institute
   Brook Herman, USACoE ERDC, collaborator
   Andy Sample, Master's student
   Jacob Hockensmith, Master's student

This project (funded by the US Army Corps of Engineers Engineering Research & Development Center) will provide insight into interactions among wetland plants and dissolved nutrients in riverine freshwater wetlands. We are using experimental wetland mesocosms to study interactions between invasive and non-invasive plant species in wetlands of the lower Mississippi River Valley, under "normal" and elevated levels of dissolved nitrogen.

Our aim in this work is to better understand the effects of particular plant species on nutrient dynamics in wetlands, especially in the face of invasion by aggressively growing plant species. A secondary objective is to provide data that will parametrize models being developed by ERDC scientists to better understand and manage plant productivity in riverine wetlands.

New grad student, Jacob Hockensmith, is also interested in the interaction between nutrient uptake and dissolved metals. We will be adding this aspect of the work during Summer 2022.

Related publications

Lázaro-Lobo, A. and G. N. Ervin. 2021. Wetland invasion: A multi-faceted challenge during a time of rapid global change. Wetlands 41:64 (Invited review).


First experimental plants are in! (May 2021)

Master's student Andy Sample completed the first plantings into the flow-through wetland system that will be used for these experiments. The first year of the study will involve monitoring growth of four emergent macrophyte species, along with nutrient dynamics within the flumes, including the plants themselves. The four species chosen for this work are Juncus effusus, Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani, Phragmites australis, and Typha latifolia.

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