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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 4, p. 1634-1643
    Received: Mar 5, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): nahlik.1@osu.edu
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The Effect of River Pulsing on Sedimentation and Nutrients in Created Riparian Wetlands

  1. Amanda M. Nahlik * and
  2. William J. Mitsch
  1. Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, Environmental Science Graduate Program and School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State Univ., 352 W. Dodridge Street, Columbus, OH 43202


Sedimentation under pulsed and steady-flow conditions was investigated in two created flow-through riparian wetlands in central Ohio over 2 yr. Hydrologic pulses of river water lasting for 6 to 8 d were imposed on each wetland from January through June during 2004. Mean inflow rates during pulses averaged 52 and 7 cm d−1 between pulses. In 2005, the wetlands received a steady-flow regime of 11 cm d−1 with no major hydrologic fluctuations. Thirty-two sediment traps were deployed and sampled once per month in April, May, June, and July for two consecutive years in each wetland. January through March were not sampled in either year due to frozen water surfaces in the wetlands. Gross sedimentation (sedimentation without normalizing for differences between years) was significantly greater in the pulsing study period (90 kg m−2) than in the steady-flow study period (64 kg m−2). When normalized for different hydrologic and total suspended solid inputs between years, sedimentation for April through July was not significantly different between pulsing and steady-flow study periods. Sedimentation for the 3 mo that received hydrologic pulses (April, May, and June) was significantly lower during pulsing months than in the corresponding steady-flow months. Large fractions of inorganic matter in collected sediments indicated that allochthonous inputs were the main contributor to sedimentation in these wetlands. Organic matter fractions of collected sediments were consistently greater in the steady-flow study period (1.8 g kg−1) than in the pulsed study period (1.5 g kg−1), consistent with greater primary productivity in the water column during steady-flow conditions.

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