Multi-Element Fingerprinting of Wetland Soil for Rapid Assessment
Yellick, Alex Hach
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Wetland functions and conditions are determined by hydrologic, soil physiochemical, and biotic states. Information obtained from soil analysis can convey wetland history due to hydrologic regime, soil chemical changes, past physical disturbance, and past and current nutrient and pollutant levels. In this research, multi-element fingerprinting was used to characterize the element composition of hydric soil. Specifically, fingerprints were used to characterize wetland characteristics across disturbance and hydrological gradients in the Prairie Pothole Region. This research has demonstrated that fingerprinting not only has the power to convey information regarding disturbance, but can be used to predict wetland water source (groundwater discharge, flow-through, and recharge). Furthermore, this research demonstrates how future wetland assessments might be strengthened through the incorporation of multi-element data from hydric soils.