WETLAND SOILS Genesis, Hydrology, Landscapes, and Classification
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Edited by J. L. Richardson M. J. Vepraskas WETLAND SOILS Genesis, Hydrology, Landscapes, and Classification LEWIS PUBLISHERS Boca Raton London New York Washington, D.C.
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Preface Anyone dealing with wetlands needs to understand the properties and functions of the soils found in and around wdetlands. The ability to identify wetland soils is at the core of wetland delineation. Wetland restoration revolves around techniques that are designed to restore the chemical reactions that occur in these soils. These chemical processes cause the soil to become anaerobic, and this condition requires special adaptations in plants if they are to survive in a wetland envi- ronment. Wetland soils is a general term for any soil found in a wetland. The term hydric soil was introduced by Cowardin et al. (1979) for wetland soils. Hydric soil has been redened for jurisdictional purposes by the USDAs National Technical Committee for Hydric Soils as: soils that are formed under conditions of saturation, ooding, or ponding long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions in the upper part (Hurt et al., 1998). Hydric soils are the principal subject of this text. This book lls a large gap in the wetlands literature. No previous book has been devoted solely to the subject of hydric soils and their landscapes, hydrology, morphology, and classication. Several publications focus on a portion of the topics covered in this book, notably Mausbach and Richardson (1994); Richardson et al. (1994); Vepraskas (1994); Hurt et al. (1998); and Vepraskas and Sprecher (1997). The problem with each of these is that they are too focused and specialized to be used as texts for college level courses. We assembled a team of scientists to develop a comprehensive book on hydric soils that could be used as a text in college courses and as a reference for practicing professionals. The text is intended for individuals who have, or are working toward, a B.S. degree in an area other than soil science. It is intended to prepare individuals to work with real wetlands outdoors, and all chapters have been written by individuals with extensive eld experience. The authors of this text describe a diverse range of soils that occur in and around wetlands throughout North America. These wetlands are widely recognized as consisting of three main components: hydric soils, hydrophytic vegetation, and wetland hydrology. We believe that the hydric soils are the most important component of the three. While most wetlands could be identied and their functions understood if the sites hydrology were known, an individual wetlands hydrology is far too dynamic for eld workers to fully understand it without long-term monitoring studies. Some morphological aspects of hydric soils, however, can be used to evaluate a sites hydrology. As noted by Cowardin et al. (1979), soils are long-term indicators of wetland conditions. Soils can be readily observed in the eld, and unlike hydrology, their characteristics remain fairly constant throughout the course of a year. They are not as readily altered as plants, which can be removed by plowing for example. The publications of Vepraskas (1992) on redoximorphic features and Hurt et al. (1998) on hydric soil eld indicators have placed in the hands of eld workers essential tools for delineation of soils into hydric and nonhydric categories. This book explains how soil morphol- ogy can be used as a eld tool to evaluate soil hydrology and soil biogeochemical processes. A recurring theme in this text is that hydric soils are components of a landscape whose soils have been altered by hydrologic and biogeochemical processes. We have organized the book into three parts. Part I examines the basic concepts, processes, and properties of aspects of hydric soils that pertain to virtually any hydric soil. We recognize that most users of this text will not be soil scientists, so the rst chapter is a general overview that introduces important terms and concepts. The second chapter explains the historic development of the concept of a hydric soil, while the following chapters examine soil hydrology, chemistry, biology, soil organic matter, and the development and use of the hydric soil eld indicators. Part II of the text is devoted to the soils in specic kinds of wetlands. We have chosen to classify wetlands following Brinsons (1993) hydrogeomorphic model (HGM). This model considers hydrology and landscape as two dominant factors that create differences among wetlands and cause LA4142_frame_FM_2 Page 5 Wednesday, August 2, 2000 9:22 AM
individual wetlands to vary in the types of functions they perform. Water is so dynamic that it is difcult to assess its role in wetlands unless long-term observations are made at various places in and around the wetland. Part III of the text is devoted to special wetland conditions that we feel need more emphasis, such as the wetland soils composed of sands, organic soils in northern North America, prairie wetlands in the midwestern U.S., wetlands in saline, dry climates, and wetlands with modied hydrology. The terminology used throughout the text is that developed for the eld of soil science. The soils discussed are described and classied according to the conventions of the USDAs Natural Resources Conservation Service (Soil Survey Staff, 1998). Common wetland terms, such as fen, peatland, or pocosin, are used only to illustrate a particular concept. We believe that most soil science terms are rigidly dened and are used consistently throughout the U.S. and much of the world. On the other hand, some of the common wetland terms (e.g., fen, bog) are dened differently across the U.S., while the exact meanings of others (e.g., peatland, pocosin) are not clear. While the terminology of the hydric soil eld indicators (Hurt et al., 1998) may be new to many readers, each indicator is rigidly dened, eld tested, and can be used to dene a line on a landscape that separates hydric and upland soils. J. L. Richardson M. J. Vepraskas REFERENCES Brinson, M. M. 1993. A Hydrogeomorphic Classication for Wetlands. Tech. Rept. WRP-DE-4, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS. Cowardin, L. M., V. Carter, F. C. Golet, and E. T. LaRoe. 1979. Classication of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Government Printing Ofce, Wash- ington, DC. Hurt, G. W., P. M. Whited, and R. F. Pringle (Eds.). 1998. Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the United States. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Fort Worth, TX. Mausbach, M. J. and J. L. Richardson. 1994. Biogeochemical processes in hydric soils. Current Topics in Wetland Biogeochemistry 1:68127. Wetlands Biogeochemistry Institute, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. Richardson, J. L., J. L. Arndt, and J. Freeland. 1994. Wetland soils of the prairie potholes. Adv. Agron. 52:121171. Soil Survey Staff. 1998. Keys to Soil Taxonomy. 8th ed. USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Government Printing Ofce, Washington, DC. Vepraskas, M. J. 1992. Redoximorphic Features for Identifying Aquic Conditions. Tech. Bull. 301. North Carolina Agr. Res. Serv. Tech. Bull. 301, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC. Vepraskas, M. J. and S. W. Sprecher (Eds.). 1997. Aquic Conditions and Hydric Soils: The Problem Soils. SSSA Spec. Publ. No. 50, Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI. LA4142_frame_FM_2 Page 6 Wednesday, August 2, 2000 9:22 AM
About the Editors J. L. Richardson is professor of soil science at North Dakota State University in Fargo and is a frequent consultant for wetland soil/water problems for government and industry. Dr. Richardson received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University in soil genesis, morphology, and classication. He is a member of the American Society of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers, the National Water Well Association, the North Dakota Professional Soil Classiers, the Society of Wetland Scientists, the Soil Science Society of America, and the National Technical Committee for Hydric Soils. He is author of over 80 peer-reviewed or edited articles related to wetlands, wet soils, or water movement in landscapes. M. J. Vepraskas is professor of soil science at North Carolina State University in Raleigh where he conducts research on hydric soil processes and formation. He currently works with consultants and government agencies on solving unique hydric soil problems throughout the U.S. Dr. Vepraskas received his Ph.D. from Texas A & M University. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society of Agronomy, International Society of Soil Science, North Carolina Water Resources Association, Soil Science Society of North Caro- lina, Society of Wetland Scientists, and the National Technical Committee for Hydric Soils. He is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America. In 1992, he authored the technical paper, Redox- imorphic Features for Identifying Aquic Conditions, which has become the basis for identifying hydric soils in the U.S. LA4142_frame_FM_2 Page 7 Wednesday, August 2, 2000 9:22 AM
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Contributors J. L. Arndt Petersen Environmental, Inc. 1355 Mendota Heights Rd. Mendota Heights, MN Jay C. Bell Department of Soil, Water, and Climate University of Minnesota St. Paul, MN Janis L. Boettinger Department of Plants, Soils, and Biometeorology Utah State University Logan, UT Scott D. Bridgham Department of Biological Sciences University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN Mark M. Brinson Biology Department East Carolina University Greenville, NC V. W. Carlisle Professor Emeritus Soil and Water Science Department University of Florida Gainesville, FL Mary E. Collins Soil and Water Science Department University of Florida Gainesville, FL Christopher B. Craft School of Public and Environmental Affairs Indiana University Bloomington, IN R. A. Dahlgren Soils and Biogeochemistry Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources University of California Davis, CA C. V. Evans Department of Geology University of Wisconsin-Parkside Kenosha, WI S. P. Faulkner Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA J. A. Freeland Northern Ecological Services, Inc. Reed City, MI Willie Harris Soil and Water Science Department University of Florida Gainesville, FL W. A. Hobson Urban Forester City of Lodi Lodi, CA G. W. Hurt National Leader for Hydric Soils USDA, NRCS Soil and Water Science Department University of Florida Gainesville, FL Carol A. Johnston Natural Resources Research Institute University of Minnesota Duluth, MN R. J. Kuehl Soil and Water Science Department University of Florida Gainesville, FL David L. Lindbo Soil Science Department North Carolina State University Plymouth, NC LA4142_frame_FM_2 Page 9 Wednesday, August 2, 2000 9:22 AM
Maurice J. Mausbach Soil Survey and Resource Assessment USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Washington, DC J. A. Montgomery Environmental Science Program DePaul University Chicago, IL W. Blake Parker Hydric Soils Verona, MS Chein-Lu Ping University of Alaska Fairbanks Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station Palmer Research Center Palmer, AK M. C. Rabenhorst Department of Natural Resource Sciences University of Maryland College Park, MD J. L. (Jimmie) Richardson Department of Soil Science North Dakota State University Fargo, ND S. W. Sprecher U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Bend, IN J. P. Tandarich Hey & Associates Chicago, IL James A. Thompson Department of Agronomy University of Kentucky Lexington, KY Karen Updegraff Natural Resources Research Institute Duluth, MN M. J. Vepraskas North Carolina State University Department of Soil Science Raleigh, NC Frank C. Watts USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service Baldwin, FL P. M. Whited Natural Resources Conservation Service Wetland Science Institute Hadley, MA LA4142_frame_FM_2 Page 10 Wednesday, August 2, 2000 9:22 AM
We dedicate this book to the following Unsung Heroes The development of the concept of hydric soils, as well...