By Robert P. Brooks, Denice Heller Wardrop
The lands and waters of the Mid-Atlantic quarter (MAR) have replaced considerably on account that ahead of the 16th century while the Susquehannock lived within the sector. a lot has replaced when you consider that Captain John Smith penetrated the estuaries and rivers in the course of the early 17th century; because the surveying of the Mason-Dixon Line to settle border disputes between Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware through the center of the 18th century; and because J. Thomas Scharf defined the physiographic atmosphere of Baltimore County within the overdue 19th century. As early as 1881, Scharf presents us with an evaluate of the situation of the aquatic ecosystems of the quarter, albeit in narrative shape, and already adjustments are occurring – the conversion of forests to fields, the founding of cities and towns, and the depletion of usual assets. now we have continually performed our paintings with the basis that “man” is a part of, and never except, this atmosphere and panorama. This premise, and the historic alterations in our panorama, give you the starting place for our overarching study query: how do human actions impression the functioning of aquatic ecosystems and the surroundings companies that they supply, and the way do we optimize this relationship?
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Extra info for Mid-Atlantic Freshwater Wetlands: Advances in Wetlands Science, Management, Policy, and Practice
Excess turbidity caused by high levels of suspended sediment decreases oxygen levels and photosynthesis rates, impairs the respiration and feeding of aquatic organisms, destroys fish habitat, and kills benthic organisms (Johnston 1993b). In wetlands, high sedimentation rates decrease the germination of many wetland plant species by eliminating light penetration to seeds, lowering plant productivity by creating stressful conditions, and slowing decomposition rates by burying plant material (Jurik et al.
1994; Wardrop and Brooks 1998; Freeland et al. 1999). High sedimentation rates decrease germination of many wetland and riparian plant species by eliminating light penetration to seeds, lower plant productivity by creating stressful conditions, and slow decomposition rates by burying plant material (Jurik et al. 1994; Vargo et al. 1998; Wardrop and Brooks 1998; Mahaney et al. 2004). Landscape disturbances impact sediment loading and retention within the aquatic components of watersheds, and for the MAR, anthropogenic disturbances have been occurring for several centuries.
Essentially, the RCC predicts that in larger rivers (>4th order) the primary energy source fueling secondary production is derived from terrestrial inputs that were inefficiently processed by consumers in headwaters and mid-reach sections of the drainage network and exported downstream. However, the data from larger rivers show less agreement with the predictions of the RCC than do headwater and mid-reach streams (Thorp et al. 2006). Consequently, other models have been proposed to explain energy pathways and food webs in larger rivers.