Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Dr. Carla M. Koretsky

Second Advisor

Dr. Duane Hampton

Third Advisor

Dr. Daniel Cassidy

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Invasion of the exotic macrophyte, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), is of serious concern in Great Lakes basin wetland environments. In this study, the porewater chemistry of Kleinstuck Marsh, a minerotrophic peatland in Kalamazoo, Michigan, is investigated at three sites, one on the east side of the marsh, and two on the west side of the marsh. The east site is vegetated primarily by purple loosestrife. One site on the west side of the marsh has mostly cattails and the third site has a mixture of loosestrife and cattails. Sampling has been completed using porewater diffusion equilibrators to collect samples from the sediment surface to a depth of 50 cm, at ~ 1-2 cm intervals, in September and November 2006 and in March and June 2007. Pore waters have been analyzed for pH, dissolved inorganic carbon or alkalinity, dissolved ferrous iron, ferric iron, sulfate, sulfide, ammonium and phosphate. Some trace and major elements were also analyzed. The pore waters are always redox stratified, but there are considerable differences between the cattail and loosestrife dominated sites during the different sampling events. In general, the purple loosestrife dominated sites have more compressed redox stratifcation, although hydrology and soil organic content may also play a part. This study displays the multitude of variables that influence the near surface pore water chemistry in a minerotrophic peatland.

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