An Overview of Hydrologic Studies at Center for Forested Wetlands Research, USDA Forest Service
Managing forested wetland landscapes for water quality improvement and productivity requires a detailed understanding of functional linkages between ecohydrological processes and management practices. Studies are being conducted at Center for Forested Wetlands Research (CFWR), USDA Forest Service to understand the fundamental hydrologic and biogeochemical processes linking aquatic and terrestrial eco-systems. The first study is based on the long-term experimental watersheds established in 1960s on the USDA Forest Service Santee Experimental Forest, with the purpose of quantifying the soil moisture dynamics, flow regimes, and water chemistry of low gradient forested wetlands in South Carolina. In a cooperative research with North Carolina State University, a long-term study is being conducted at Weyerhaeuser Company’s managed pine forest in Carteret County, North Carolina to quantify the effects of various water and silvicultural management impacts on the hydrology and water quality. A third long-term ecosystem study on MeadWestvaco's Coosawhatchie River bottomland hardwood site in South Carolina addresses recent public concerns on the need of protection, restoration, and sustainable management of forested wetlands. A fourth study conducted between 1997 and 2000 evaluated the plantations hydrology and water quality of intensively managed Short Rotation Woody Crops on International Paper’s Trice Experimental Forest in the upper coastal plain of SC. A fifth study was recently conducted at MeadWestvaco's Carolina Bay site also in the SC upper coastal plain to assess the surface water and groundwater interactions between Carolina bays and their surrounding uplands.