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September 2020 - Issue 51
The Wetland Knowledge Exchange (WKE) is the official voice of the Canadian Conservation and Land Management Knowledge Network's Wetland Knowledge Portal. The WKE is a venue for sharing wetland information to raise awareness, increase information transfer, and build a community of practice. Explore the Wetland Knowledge Portal here 

Monthly Webinar Series 

This month Lorna Harris will present on Linking Science, Policy and Practice to protecting an essential carbon sink.  
 
September 22, 2020, 12:00 - 1:00 MST
Register here

In October, Taylor North and the McMaster Ecohydrology Lab will present on iWETLAND: Managing Species at Risk Habitat through Wetland Water Level Citizen Science.

October 28, 2020, 12:00 - 1:00 MST
Register here

All webinars are recorded, check out our past webinars here.

Alberta Wetland Field Guide Final Photo Call 

Ducks Unlimited Canada is looking for photographs of Alberta's wetlands and common wetland indicator plants to contribute to the development of an Alberta Wetland Field Guide. Learn more about the guide and how to submit your photos here.

News

We mapped the world’s peatlands – what we found was worrying

Indigenous Guardians partner on climate and wildlife research in the NWT

New wetland guide helps framers manage water responsibly and tap new funding

The power of wetlands

How much peat is there on earth?

Warming world will be ‘devastating’ for frozen peatlands

FRI 2019-2020 Annual Report
 

Events

Global Institute for Water Security - 2020 Distinguished Lecture Series
Weekly on Wednesday starting September 23, 2020

Columbia Mountains Institute: Fundamentals of Science-Based Vegetation Surveying Course
September 23-24, 2020

ALMS Webinar Series
September 25, 2020

The Wildlife Society's 2020 Annual Conference
September 28 - October 2, 2020

American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2020
December 1-17, 2020

View a full list of events here. 

New Resources

The NEW Wetland Knowledge Exchange 

Did you notice our new logo? This month marks the official transition of the Wetland Best Management Practice Knowledge Exchange to the Wetland Knowledge Exchange, the official voice of the Canadian Conservation and Land Management (CCLM) Knowledge Network’s Wetland Knowledge Portal.

The CCLM launched in the spring of 2020 to create a forum for sharing information and lessons learned about boreal caribou, land management and wetlands. The development of the Wetland Knowledge Portal (WKP), one of three CCLM subportals, represents the next step in creating a venue for sharing and exchanging information about boreal wetlands with a diverse group of practitioners, the original goal of the Wetland BMP Knowledge Exchange. By integrating these platforms, we will be able to leverage knowledge, resources and contacts to bring knowledge producers and knowledge users together to develop a network of interested stakeholders with increased collaboration and communication. The Wetland Knowledge Exchange will continue to deliver monthly newsletters, monthly webinars and share news, events and resources on Twitter @Knowledge Exchange.

Welcome to the new Knowledge Exchange. Explore the Wetland Knowledge Portal or contact us to share resources, contribute to the newsletter, or give a webinar. 
Plant Diversity and Water Quality in Wetlands

Wetlands are often referred to as the earth's kidneys for their ability to remove inorganic and organic materials from water. However, there is growing concern that a decrease in biodiversity, due to natural or anthropogenic factors, may influence a wetlands capacity to filter water. To better understand the influence of plant richness on a wetland's ability to remove pollutants, Brisson et al. (2020) analyzed existing data from multiple studies.

Based on the data available, Brisson et al. found that an increase in plant richness showed no effect on the wetland's ability to remove sediment; however, it did increase the wetland's efficiency in removing nitrogen and, to some extent, phosphorus. Brisson et al. also noted that upon further analysis, the data showed no evidence to support plant richness being responsible for increased filtering capacity and instead found that increased capacity is driven by the presence of particularly efficient species. Thus, a highly diverse system will not perform better than a monoculture of the best filtering species. Brisson et al. concluded that more long term research is required to better understand the effects of biodiversity in natural wetlands and to inform its use in treatment wetlands. Learn more here.
Stored Peatland Carbon and Nitrogen Vulnerable to Permafrost Thaw

Northern peatlands sequester and store large amounts of carbon and play a key role in global climate dynamics. Climate warming in northern peatlands is expected to increase plant productivity and generally increase Carbon (C) sequestration. However, it is unclear to what extent permafrost thaw will influence this as there is evidence of both net losses and net gains of peat resulting from permafrost thaw in peatlands. Despite their importance, permafrost peatlands are underrepresented in GHG estimates in part, due to the lack of observation-based maps of northern peatland extent and C stocks. To address this gap, Hugelius et al. (2020) compiled over 7,000 field observations, multiple global environmental data sets, and used a machine-learning approach to map and model carbon and nitrogen storage in northern peatlands to assess the impact of permafrost thaw on GHG emissions.

Hugelis et al. found that northern peatlands are currently a net sink of atmospheric carbon; however, permafrost thaw due to climate warming may convert these peatlands into a net source of warming. To estimate a potential future state, Hugelis et al. modelled permafrost loss under a variety of warming scenarios. In the event of global climate stabilization at 2°C of warming, the model estimates that half of permafrost peatlands will be lost. If warming exceeds 6°C, permafrost peatlands will practically disappear. Learn more here.
Did You Know?

Scientific studies are often limited by the capacity of researchers to collect data; however, citizen science is beginning to change this. Citizen science is a crowdsourcing technique that relies on everyday people to collect data that scientists can use in their research.

TeaTime4Science a citizen science initiative that relies on citizens from across the world to gather information on soil decomposition rates using tea bags. Participants weigh and bury two types of tea. After three months, participants recover the tea bags and record their post-burial weight. This data is then used to draw conclusions on global decompositions rates and climate implications. Learn more about citizen science and TeaTime4Science here.
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