Date of this Version
Dreier, C.A. 2018. Nebraska Wetland Condition Assessment: Intensification of the National Wetland Condition Assessment throughout Nebraska. Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Even though wetlands provide a habitat for many plants and animals and numerous services for humans, they were not always treated as areas of value. Less than half of the United States’ pre-colonial wetlands have survived to the present day. Seeing a need to understand the remaining wetlands more fully, the Environmental Protection Agency developed the National Wetland Condition Assessment to monitor target wetlands throughout the country every five years.
This study is an intensification of the National Wetland Condition Assessment for Nebraska wetlands that allowed us to sample more areas of the state and gather additional information. During the summers of 2016 and 2017, wetlands located within five Biologically Unique Landscapes were surveyed. Measurements were taken for vegetation, soil, water, and hydrology within the assessment area, and land use measurements were taken in the buffer area directly adjacent to the assessment area.
Multimodel inference was used to predict the best fitting linear models for 11 vegetation, soil, and water parameters to better understand what factors drive certain aspects within wetlands. While no binding regulations exist for soil quality or water quality in Nebraska wetlands, very few sites exceeded pseudo standards set up in this study based on values from the EPA and Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. Vegetation, soil, and water sampling methods were evaluated to justify the time and money spent during this and future projects. Data from this study will be further used as a baseline for Nebraska wetlands in future Nebraska Wetland Condition Assessments and similar projects.
Advisor: Craig R. Allen