A systems approach to modeling effects of climate and land-use change on prairie wetland ecosystems

This research effort is focused on developing integrated, process-based, systems models for prairie pothole wetlands to facilitate forecasts of how climate and land-use change will influence wetland processes, biota, and the delivery of multiple ecosystem services. Models will focus on predicting changes in hydrology, water chemistry, plant communities, invertebrates, amphibians, waterfowl, other wetland birds, and ecosystem services resulting from changing climatic and land-use conditions. We will utilize the extensive biotic and abiotic datasets available for the Missouri Coteau Wetland Ecosystem Observatory to parameterize, calibrate, and validate models. This research effort will allow us to address important scientific questions related to: (1) how changes in climate will likely affect water levels and hydroperiods of prairie pothole wetlands; (2) how these changes will influence the chemical characteristics of various wetland functional types; (3) how plant communities, aquatic invertebrates, amphibians, waterfowl, and other wetland birds will likely be affected by changing water and chemical conditions in prairie pothole wetlands; (4) how climate change will influence other ecosystem services provided by prairie pothole wetlands (e.g., carbon sequestration); (5) how alternate land uses will interact with climate to alter processes affecting ecosystem services, and; (6) how the potential effects of climate change on prairie wetlands might be mitigated through targeted management strategies.


Principal Investigator(s):

David M Mushet

Project Status:

In Progress


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