Courtney Scoles

M.S. Candidate, New York College at Brockport

2020 Conference Travel Grant Type 2 (Society of Wetland Scientists Meeting)

Assessing how invasive cattail treatment affects methane emissions in Lake Ontario meadow marshes

“Wetlands sequester carbon and buffer extreme weather events; however, they are also the largest natural source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG). We assessed effects of invasive cattail removal on methane emissions and carbon storage at the Braddock Bay Wildlife Management Area on the southern coast of Lake Ontario. We measured methane fluxes in two restored marshes and an uninvaded meadow marsh using a backpack cavity ring-down analyzer. We also logged belowground environmental conditions to model methane fluxes over time and estimate carbon storage of the different sites. This study was conducted by researchers at the State University of New York at Brockport. The first year of research shows that the cattail monoculture (control) produced more methane than areas with cattail removal with replanting, and the uninvaded meadow marsh area had the lowest methane emissions out of all categories. Soil moisture decreased over the growing season, and areas where cattail was removed and replanted with meadow marsh species have greater percent carbon in aboveground biomass than cattail monoculture areas. The cattail monoculture sites, however, had greater carbon content in grams than the uninvaded meadow marsh and replanted sites. This research aims to assess how management of wetlands may reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon sinks.”