Monday, November 2, 2009: 2:00 PM
Convention Center, Room 318, Third Floor
Riparian zones are important components of the landscape that act as a buffer between upland and aquatic systems. These dynamic areas provide numerous functions including high rates of carbon sequestration, heavy metal and sediment retention, groundwater denitrification, and flood abatement. These functions can potentially be impacted by land use changes within their associated watersheds. Understanding these effects is dependent upon the development of approaches to recognize changes in riparian soils related to shifts in land use. The goal of my study is to develop a set of regional land use indices utilizing soil morphology, pollen stratigraphy, historical records, and calibrated radiometric dates. These indices were then applied to 18 first and second order watersheds in southern New England to evaluate the impact land use has on riparian soil morphology, sedimentation rates, and carbon pools.