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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Effects of Silvicultural Activities on Wetland Biogeochemistry


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 28 No. 6, p. 1687-1698
    Received: Dec 2, 1998

    * Corresponding author(s): lockaby@forestry.auburn.edu
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  1. B. G. Lockaby *,
  2. C. C. Trettin and
  3. S. H. Schoenholtz
  1. Auburn Univ., Auburn, AL;
    U.S. Forest Service, Charleston, SC;
    Mississippi State Univ., Starkville, MS.



The unique biogeochemistry of wetlands either causes or influences many landscape functions that are valued by society. Because of their critical ecological role and the importance of wetlands to commodity and noncommodity values, we have reviewed the current state of knowledge regarding influences of silviculture on nutrient circulation, transformation, and retention in forested wetlands. Our approach was to contrast riverine and depressional systems. Globally, there are few generalizations that can be made regarding the effects of silvicultural disturbance. This conclusion is primarily a result of too few studies on the mechanisms and processes controlling ecosystem responses. Most work to date has focused solely on characterizing responses of state variables, and therefore a basis for integration is often lacking. While studies do show that water quality functions are not degraded as a result of harvesting, many other aspects of ecosystem functionality are not clarified. As examples, there are significant gaps in our understanding of biogeochemical controls on net primary productivity, organic matter turnover, and hydrologic interactions. Considerable research is warranted to provide information for effective resource management and conservation.

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