A Landscape Scale Evaluation of Phosphorus Retention in Wetlands of the Laplatte River Basin, Vermont, USA

  • Deane Wang
  • Lisa J. Windhausen
  • David C. Braun
Conference paper


We used a landscape scale approach to examine phosphorus retention in wetlands of the LaPlatte River basin (13,723 ha), Vermont. Total phosphorus (TP) export from 15 study catchments (149–1,396 ha) was measured on 18 dates, representing a range in seasons and hydrologic conditions. Multiple regression models were developed to relate TP export to 14 possible explanatory variables based on land cover/use, quantified using a geographic information system. Most wetland variables had significant (p < 0.10) negative relationships with TP export on at least 1 date. These relationships were strongest on 2 spring snowmelt events, when 31% of the annual TP export from the LaPlatte River basin occurred. Overall, the percentage of nonagricultural poorly and very poorly drained soils was the best representation of phosphorus sinks in the study catchments. Identifying lands with poorly drained soils and no known sources of phosphorus may be a more functional and simpler method of delineating P sinks in the landscape than identifying wetlands using jurisdictional definitions.


Wetland Type Hydric Soil Study Catchment High Flow Event Phosphorus Retention 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deane Wang
    • 1
  • Lisa J. Windhausen
  • David C. Braun
  1. 1.School of Natural ResourcesUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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