Hydrologic controls on carbon processing and export are a critical feature of wetland ecosystems. Hydrologic response to climate variability has important implications for carbon‐climate feedbacks, aquatic metabolism, and water quality. Little is known about how hydrologic processes along the terrestrial‐aquatic interface in low‐relief, depressional wetland catchments influence carbon dynamics, particularly regarding soil‐derived dissolved organic matter (DOM) transport and transformation. To understand the role of different soil horizons as potential sources of DOM to wetland systems, we measured water‐soluble organic matter (WSOM) concentration and composition in soils collected from upland to wetland transects at four Delmarva Bay wetlands in the eastern United States. Spectral metrics indicated that WSOM in shallow organic horizons had increased aromaticity, higher molecular weight, and plant‐like signatures. In contrast, WSOM from deeper, mineral horizons had lower aromaticity, lower molecular weights, and microbial‐like signatures. Organic soil horizons had the highest concentrations of WSOM, and WSOM decreased with increasing soil depth. WSOM concentrations also decreased from the upland to the wetland, suggesting that continuous soil saturation reduces WSOM concentrations. Despite wetland soils having lower WSOM, these horizons are thicker and continuously hydrologically connected to wetland surface and groundwater, leading to wetland soils representing the largest potential source of soil‐derived DOM to the Delmarva Bay wetland system. Knowledge of which soil horizons are most biogeochemically significant for DOM transport in wetland ecosystems will become increasingly important as climate change is expected to alter hydrologic regimes of wetland soils and their resulting carbon contributions from the landscape.
Wetlands play an important role in watershed eco‐hydrology. The occurrence and distribution of wetlands in a landscape are affected by the surface topography and the hydro‐climatic conditions. Here, we propose a minimalist probabilistic approach to describe the dynamic behaviour of wetlandscape attributes, including number of inundated wetlands and the statistical properties of wetland stage, surface area, perimeter, and storage volume. The method relies on two major assumptions: (a) wetland bottom hydrologic resistance is negligible; and (b) groundwater level is parallel to the mean terrain elevation. The approach links the number of
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Hydrological Processes
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- p. 1460-1474
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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