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Wetland Water Quality: Effect of Local Land Use in the Platte River Basin, Nebraska

Jill D. Frankforter and Steven A. Frenzel
ABSTRACT: The effect of local land use on wetland water quality was examined at 31 wetlands in the Platte River Basin, Nebraska. Sites were selected on the basis of wetland classification, surface area, and depth of water. Samples were collected in May and August 1994 to characterize water-column and sediment chemistry, benthic and planktonic algae, benthic invertebrates, macrophytes, and chlorophyll-a concentration. A cluster analysis of land-use data within a 1-kilometer radius of each wetland sample site identified 3 groups of sites. Sites in group 1 contained an average of 74 percent rangeland; group 2 sites contained from 14 to 30 percent of rangeland, cropland, and wetland; and sites in group 3 contained an average of 78 percent cropland. Kruskal-Wallis tests showed that atrazine and total herbicide concentrations from water-column samples collected in May were significantly different between groups 1 and 3 and between groups 2 and 3. It is hypothesized, that whereas sites in group 3 show evidence of water chemistry affected by adjacent cropland, these sites will not have significantly different chlorophyll-a concentrations than sites located in rangeland or a mixture of land uses, due to the high natural variability of primary productivity of wetlands.

Frankforter, J.D., and Frenzel, S.A., 1995, Wetland water quality: Effect of local land use in the Platte River Basin, Nebraska [abs.]: Bulletin of the North American Benthological Society, v. 12, no. 1, p. 161.

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