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Development of Bioassessment Procedures and Guidance for Field Staff for Evaluation of Depressional Wetlands in Michigan

Wetlands in southern Michigan are under severe pressure from  development.  The 4 4 permit process requires evaluation of wetlands  and reasonable alternatives before permits can be issued.  The  requirement for wetland evaluation before a permit is issued and for  monitoring of the effectiveness of mitigation after permits are  issued would be facilitated by development of a relatively  inexpensive and reliable system of assessment of the  ecological "health" or condition of wetlands.  Anthropogenic impacts  on wetlands are difficult to detect and quantify. The traditional  water quality monitoring approach to measuring impacts on wetlands  is of limited value in detection of human-induced alterations in  habitat and the introduction of exotic species, and, if it is  limited in scope, may fail to detect spills and episodic discharges  of pollutants.  Biota integrate overall habitat and water quality  and, therefore, are natural monitors of the system revealing both  episodic and cumulative disturbance.  The three objectives for this  project were to 1) update the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) for  inland swamps (forested, depressional wetlands) developed previously  and apply this IBI or develop a new one for swamps in coastal zones  of Lakes Huron and Michigan, 2) develop an IBI for depressional  marshes in southern Michigan, and 3) provide information to MDEQ  that can be used to develop improved field staff guidance for  evaluation of regulated wetlands in Michigan.  We sampled 134  isolated depressional wetlands for this and previous projects and  used data from these wetlands to develop four IBIs for four types of  wetlands. The wetlands included inland and coastal herbaceous  marshes and forested swamps, primarily in the lower peninsula of  Michigan. All of these IBIs are ready for additional testing at a  broader array of sites and all have potential for bioassessment of  Michigan wetlands.

Status
In progress
Type
Project
Start Date
End Date
Researchers
Thomas BurtonPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 10 projects
Don UzarskiResearcher
Associated with 12 projects
Don UzarskiResearcher
Associated with 12 projects
Dennis AlbertResearcher
Associated with 4 projects
Agencies

Funding 12 projects for a total of $720,629.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Community
Ecosystem
Landscape
Organism
Physical/Chemical
Impact of Pollutants
Nutrients, Including Phosphorus
Processes
Natural Ecological Processes
Land Use and Habitat
Wetlands
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Huron
Lake Michigan
State Province
Michigan
Annex Numbers
Control of Phosphorus
Pollution from Non-Point Sources
Remedial Action Plans and Lakewide Management Plans
Research & Development
Annex 17
Cause-effect inter-relationships of productivity and ecotoxicity
Physical and transformational processes affecting delivery of pollutants
General
Annex
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Control of Phosphorus
    Pollution from Non-Point Sources
    Remedial Action Plans and Lakewide Management Plans
    Research & Development
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Cause-effect inter-relationships of productivity and ecotoxicity
    Physical and transformational processes affecting delivery of pollutants

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