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Draft Interim Functional Assessment Model for Playa Wetlands

REVISED DRAFT
January 26, 1999

Natural Resources Conservation Service
Wetland Regional Technical Team
1502 E. Harding, Suite 11
Garden City, Kansas 67846
Phone 316-276-2104 
FAX 316-276-1870

INTERIM FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT MODEL FOR PLAYA WETLANDS

 CLASS: DEPRESSIONAL

SUBCLASS: HIGH PLAINS PLAYAS

Version 2.7

CONTENTS OF INTERIM FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT MODEL
FOR PLAYA WETLANDS

Explanation of Model Use
Items Needed For Field Assessment
Model Variables with Index, Exhibit A
Functional Assessment Data Sheet, Exhibit B
Variables/Index Worksheet, Exhibit C
Functional Capacity Index Equation Worksheet Exhibit D
Functional Capacity Index Summary Equation Worksheet, Exhibit E
Wetland Mitigation Ratio Worksheet, Exhibit F
Lotus and Excel Worksheets, Exhibit G
Producer Checklist for Mitigation, Exhibit H
Reference Guide

EXPLANATION OF MODEL USE

This interim model is to be used in the field to assess the functional capacities of a wetland which then can be used to determine the mitigation requirements associated with the projected loss of a wetland. Functional capacities are based on the field conditions the day a site is assessed. This model is intended to be user friendly: the first part has the Model Variables and the Worksheets to be used in the field and the second part has a Reference Guide for additional information such as the explanation of each function and their associated variables.

 To use this model:

First, identify the Wetland Assessment Area (WAA). Copies of FSA photo, soil map and soil descriptions, topographic map, NWI map, etc. need to be assembled and taken to the field. In the field, observe all of the WAA: clearly identifying the wetland boundary on the FSA photo and completing a Functional Assessment Data Sheet which includes current site conditions. Current site conditions include landuse, vegetative cover, hydrologic conditions, and soils on site. If the wetland site is bisected by a road and if the elevation of road and culvert bottom is higher than the elevation of the wetland boundary, then assess the site as two wetland assessment areas. If the elevation of road and culvert bottom is the same or lower than the elevation of the wetland boundary, then assess the site as one wetland assessment area.

Second, review each model variable at a wetland site in the field. Definitions and examples of each variable are given. For each variable decide what measurement or condition best describes the wetland site and assign it the corresponding index number using the Variable/Index Worksheet for recording. For the variables LANDSCAPE and DENSITY OF WETLANDS IN THE LANDSCAPE, an aerial photo covering a 1 to 2 miles radius needs to be reviewed.

Third, transfer the index numbers from the Variable/Index Worksheet to the appropriate equations on the Functional Capacity Index Equation Worksheets. Not all equations are used depending on hydrology: closed or throughflow, outlet or no outlet. Sum up each equation and also sum for the four regimes: hydrology, biogeochemical, vegetation, and wildlife to determine the functional capacities. A calculator that has square root capabilities is necessary and/or the Lotus and Excel Worksheets can be used. This completes the functional assessment for the wetland assessment area.

Fourth, if assessment is used for an area to be mitigated, use the Mitigation Ratio Worksheet to record on. Transfer the functional capacities (wetland impacts) of the assessment area to the worksheet. Determine the functional capacities of the proposed mitigation area and then calculate the mitigation ratio. This completes the mitigation requirements for the wetland mitigation area.

ITEMS NEEDED FOR FIELD ASSESSMENT OF WETLANDS

Calculator with square root capability

Aerial photograph covering two mile radius from site being evaluated

Spade (sharp shooter)

Soil structure, pore and consistance guides

3 foot long Tape measure (tenths of inch if possible)

List of plants in area (listed by native/ non-native and wetland class) would be helpful

Form "Exhibit B" to enter variable indices

Form "Exhibit C" to perform Functional Capacity Index (FCI) and Functional Capacity Unit (FCU) calculations; or laptop computer with Spreadsheet to compute FCI’s and FCU’s

NWI maps (if available)

Topographic maps with watershed delineated

Wetland surface area (size to tenth of an acre)

Exhibit A

Model Variables with Index

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

Index

____________

VBUFFCON: Buffer Zone Continuity Continuity is > 90%.

______________________________________________________

1.0

____________

Definition: Percentage of buffer zone surrounding the wetland. The buffer zone consists of native or perennial vegetation.

 

 

Logic: Grazing, burning, tillage, development, and drainage activities in the buffer zone impact plant communities and elemental cycling throughout the wetland ecosystem.

Continuity is 75% to 90%

_______________________________________________________

Continuity is 50% to 74%

_______________________________________________________

Continuity is 25% to 49%

_______________________________________________________

Continuity is Less Than 25%

 

0.75

____________

0.5

____________

0.25

____________

0.0

 

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

Index

____________

VBUFFWID: Buffer Zone Width Relatively undisturbed with evidence of surface water movement to the wetland. Minimum of 100 feet wide buffer with native perennial vegetative cover.

______________________________________________________

1.0

 

____________

Definition: Condition of the existing buffer zone adjacent to the wetland. The buffer zone consists of native or perennial vegetation.

 

Logic: Grazing, burning, tillage, development, and drainage activities in the buffer zone impact plant communities and elemental cycling throughout the wetland ecosystem.

Some disturbance with indications of water movement to the wetland. Buffer 50 to 99 feet wide undisturbed with native perennial vegetative cover.

_______________________________________________________

Some disturbance with indications of water movement to the wetland. Buffer with 10 to 49 feet wide with perennial vegetative cover.

_______________________________________________________

Disturbances with indications of high rate of runoff with a buffer width of less than 10 feet.

 

0.5

 

____________

0.25

 

____________

0.0

 

 

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

Index

____________

VCANOPY: Canopy Cover The measure of canopy cover in the wetland is 76 to 125% (overlapping canopy).

______________________________________________________

1.0

____________

Definition: The measurement of the canopy cover of herbaceous

vegetation within the wetland. Overlapping canopy - dense aerial vegetation. When looking directly down towards the ground, the vegetation of both the same and different species extends over and covers parts of different plants (overlaps).

Logic: Change in canopy cover from a reference standard site impacts the quality of the wetland.

The measure of canopy cover is 51% to 75% or greater than 125%.

_______________________________________________________

The measure of canopy cover is 26 to 50%.

______________________________________________________

The measure of canopy cover is 11 to 25%.

_______________________________________________________

Vegetation is sparse or absent (0-10%).

.75

____________

.50

____________

.25

____________

0.0

     

 

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

Index

____________

VDETRITUS: Detritus Litter average depth is >1 inch thick.

_______________________________________________________

1.0

____________

Definition: The presence of litter, on the wetland surface in several stages of decomposition, includes

crop residue.

Logic: Provides an energy source

and increased surface area for microbial processing of nutrients.

 

 

Litter average depth is 0.5 to 1 inch thick.

_______________________________________________________

Litter average depth is <0.5 inch thick.

_______________________________________________________

Litter is absent

0.5

____________

0. 1

____________

0.0

 

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

______________________________________________________

Index

____________

VLANDSP: Landscape Surrounding landscape supports is Greater Than 75% mosaic of native plant community. Ecological Site Similarity Index is Greater Than 35%.

______________________________________________________

1.0

 

____________

Definition: Condition of landscape within a 1 mile radius of center of the wetland being assessed. CRP considered native if seed mix meets 550 standard.

Logic: Conditions of landscape in vicinity of wetland determines the quality of potential dispersal area and home range for fauna that depend upon a mosaic of wetland and upland habitats.

 

Surrounding landscape supports 51% to 75% mosaic of the native plant community. Ecological Site Similarity Index is Greater Than 35%.

______________________________________________________

Surrounding landscape supports 25% to 50% mosaic of the native plant community.

______________________________________________________

Surrounding landscape supports Less Than 25% mosaic of the native plant community.

 

0.5

 

____________

0.1

____________

0.0

 

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

Index

____________

VMICRO: Microtopographic Roughness Microtopographic relief present in 76 to 100% of the wetland assessment area.

_______________________________________________________

1.0

____________

Definition: The natural surface roughness (<6 inches elevation change) of a wetland. Created microtopographic roughness by tillage or other mechanical means is not considered. Vegetation is usually different on the convex versus the concave surfaces.

 

Logic: Contributes to abrupt site water balance variation on the wetland surface and increased microbial activity.

Microtopographic relief present in 51 to 75% of the wetland assessment area.

_______________________________________________________

Microtopographic relief present in 26 to 50% of the wetland assessment area.

______________________________________________________

Microtopographic relief present in < 25% of the wetland assessment area.

______________________________________________________

 

.75

 

___________

.50

___________

.25

___________

 

 

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

Index

____________

VMOD: Modifications No excavations or constructed outlet/fill in the wetland.

_______________________________________________________

1.0

____________

Definition: Presence of constructed excavations (concentration pits or trenches), constructed outlets, or fill which affect water paths and duration of ponding and/or saturation in the wetland. If the wetland is pumped out of, drop condition one index level.

Logic: Excavations in the wetland alter flow paths within the wetland, concentrate water in confined areas, reduce duration’s of wetness, and may allow loss of water through the substrate.

Pits and or other man-made excavations within the wetland hold less than 25% of the total natural water volume,

AND/OR

bottom of constructed outlet(s) is at least 2 ft. above the bottom elevation of the wetland,

0R

road constructed through wetland. ______________________________________________________

Pits and or other man- made excavations within the wetland hold 26 to 50% of the total natural water volume,

AND/OR

bottom of constructed outlet(s) is at least 1 ft. above the bottom elevation of the wetland.

_______________________________________________________

Pits and or other man- made excavations within the wetland hold more than 51% of the total natural water volume,

AND/OR

bottom of constructed outlet(s) is >1 ft. above the bottom elevation of the wetland.

.75

 

 

 

 

 

____________

.50

 

 

 

____________

.10

 

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

Index

____________

VPDEN: Plant Density Density 76% to 125% of reference standard.

_______________________________________________________

1.0

____________

Definition: Basal density of herbaceous plants in the wetland.

Logic: Plant Density effects water flow, microbial activities and wildlife habitat.

 

Density From 26% to 75% or is Greater Than 125% of reference standard.

_______________________________________________________

Density 0 to 25% of reference standard.

 

0.5

____________

0. 25

 

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

____________
VPORE: Soil Pores and Structure

Definition: The physical quality of the soil surface layer(s) in an average vegetated area such as half way between wetland boundary and mudflat. This includes detailed criteria as defined in the Soil Survey Manual for, clods, structure, rupture resistance (consistence), roots, and non-matrix pores.

Structure is moderate or strong, medium and fine angular or subangular blocky,

-AND/OR-

structure is moderate or strong granular,

-AND/OR-

rupture resistance is friable or very friable,

-AND/OR-

many (>20%), fine and/or very fine pores with high vertical continuity (>4 inches),

-AND/OR-

no presence of plow pan.

_______________________________________________________

1.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________

Logic: These soil properties indicate surface area for soil water contact and (therefore) increased surface area for microbial activity. Structure is weak or moderate, medium and/or fine angular or subangular blocky,

-AND/OR-

structure is weak or moderate granular,

-AND/OR-

rupture resistance is firm,

-AND/OR-

Common (2 to 20%), fine and/or very fine pores with medium vertical continuity (0.5 inch to 4 inches),

-AND/OR-

plow pan present, but roots do not grow horizontally along pan.

______________________________________________________

Structure is weak coarse subangular blocky or soil is massive (structureless) or soil has coarse clods,

-AND/OR-

rupture resistance is very firm,

-AND/OR-

few ( <2%), fine and/or very fine pores with low vertical continuity (<0.5 inch),

-AND/OR-

plow pan has roots growing horizontally along pan.

_______________________________________________________

Substrate is a non-porous medium (i.e. asphalt, concrete)

 

0.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________

0.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________

0.0

 

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

Index

____________

VPRATIO: Ratio of Native to Non-Native Plant Species. All the dominant species in all zones are native perennial species. Impacts from grazing/haying are minimal..

______________________________________________________

1.0

____________

Definition: The ratio of native perennial plants to annual plants as influenced by the level of disturbance in the wetland.

 

Logic: The presence of a high ratio of native perennial plant species indicates that disturbances that interrupt naturally occurring cycles and other vegetative dynamics are minimal.

 

 

 

 

Site is abandoned cropland (>5 years).Vegetation consists of a mixture of native perennial species normally found in an undisturbed site and annual plants. Moderate impacts from grazing are present.

_______________________________________________________

Severely grazed or cropped site. Vegetation is dominated by FAC or wetter annual plants (ie annual smartweed, barnyardgrass, bur ragweed).

_______________________________________________________

Site is dominated by annual invasive species which are FACU or Upland plants. Examples would include kochia, marestail, bindweed, foxtail, and pigweed.

_______________________________________________________

Annually tilled site with no vegetation (excluding crops).

 

0.75

 

 

____________

0.50

 

____________

0. 25

 

____________

0.0

 

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

Index

____________

VSED: Sediment Delivery to Wetland <2.5 inches of average sediment depth in wetland,

-AND/OR

<10% of wetland has visual sediment deposits as fans or as staining of detritus and/or plant stems,

-AND/OR-

no tillage of buffer or wetland.

______________________________________________________

1.0

 

 

 

 

____________

Definition: Sediment within wetland from culturally accelerated sources. Visual sedimentation has a different color (i.e. lighter) and/or texture than the original surface layer. Average sediment depth is determined by digging at least 3 holes and visual sediment is what you observe on the surface. Use percent of buffer and tillage of wetland as indicators only when unable to determine (visualize) average depth or percent of sediment.

 

Logic: Sedimentation levels will affect native plants and invertebrates.

 

 

 

2.6 inches to 5.0 inches of average sediment depth in wetland,

-AND/OR-

11 to 25% of wetland has visual sediment deposits as fans or as staining of detritus and/or plant stems,

-AND/OR-

tillage of 25% of buffer to wetland boundary, no tillage of wetland.

_______________________________________________________

5.1 to 7.5 inches of averages sediment depth in wetland,

-AND/OR-

26 to 50% of wetland has visual sediment deposits as fans or as staining of detritus and/or plant stems,

-AND/OR-

tillage of 50% of buffer to wetland boundary, partial tillage of wetland.

_______________________________________________________

7.6 to 10.0 inches of average sediment depth in wetland,

-AND/OR-

51 to 75% of wetland has visual sediment deposits as fans or as partial burial of detritus and/or plant crowns and stems,

-AND/OR-

tillage of 75% of buffer to wetland boundary, partial tillage of wetland.

_______________________________________________________

10.1 to 12.0 inches of average sediment depth in wetland,

-AND/OR-

75 to 99% of wetland has visual sediment deposits as fans or as partial burial of detritus and/or plant crowns and stems,

-AND/OR-

tillage of 75% of buffer to wetland boundary, complete tillage of wetland.

_______________________________________________________

>12.0 inches of average sediment depth in wetland,

-AND/OR-

100% of wetland has visual sediment deposits as fans or as complete burial of detritus and plant crowns and stems,

-AND/OR-

tillage of 100% of buffer and wetland.

 

 

0. 75

 

 

 

 

____________

0.5

 

 

 

 

 

____________

0.25

 

 

 

 

 

___________

0.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________

0.0

 

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

Index

____________

VSOADD: Source Area Flow Addition No additional water to the watershed.

_______________________________________________________

1.0

____________

Definition: Addition of water to the wetland from sources such as irrigation, trans-basin diversion, and alterations of land surfaces to impervious surfaces.

 

Logic: Making the wetland wetter does not enhance natural wetland functions.

 

Watershed has lands that are sprinkler irrigated but no irrigation runoff evident,

-AND/OR-

trans-basin diversion exits that increases effective watershed <25%,

-AND/OR-

urban land use is 10 to 25% of watershed.

_______________________________________________________

Watershed has lands that are sprinkler irrigated with runoff evident,

-AND/OR-

trans-basin diversion exits that increases effective watershed 26 to 50%,

-AND/OR-

urban land use is 26% or more of watershed.

_______________________________________________________

Gravity irrigated with runoff evident on <50 of watershed,

-AND/OR-

trans-basin diversion exits that increases effective watershed >50%.

_______________________________________________________

Gravity irrigated with runoff evident on >50 of watershed.

 

0.75

 

 

 

 

________

0.5

 

 

 

 

____________

 

 

0.25

____________

0.0

 

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

Index

____________

VSORED: Source Area Flow Reduction No reduction of contributing watershed of wetland from structures.

_______________________________________________________

1.0

____________

Definition: Presence of alterations to landscape which reduce flow paths and rates of water to the wetland.

 

Logic: Alterations to the contributing watershed impact surface flow to the wetland.

 

Contributing watershed of wetland reduced less than 10%.

_______________________________________________________

Contributing watershed of wetland reduced 10 to 25%.

_______________________________________________________

Contributing watershed of wetland reduced 26 to 50%.

_______________________________________________________

Contributing watershed of wetland reduced greater than 50%.

 

0.75

____________

0.5

____________

0.25

____________

0.0

Parameters might include: linear feet of road ditches, linear feet of terraces, volume (area) of excavated pits & dams, proximity to irrigation canal, tailwater recovery system, furrow irrigation row direction....

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

Index

____________

VUPUSE: Upland Land Use Native prairie.

_______________________________________________________

1.0

____________

Definition: Dominant land use and condition of upland watershed that contributes to the wetland assessment area.

 

Logic: Upland land use can effect all functions that a wetland performs.

 

Restored perennial cover within the last 20 years (i.e. CRP or WRP).

_______________________________________________________

No-till farming, conservation tillage, good residue management, no fall tillage (excluding fall plantings).

_______________________________________________________

Contour farming, conventional tillage, residues buried, fall tillage (excluding fall plantings).

_______________________________________________________

Conventional tillage, residues buried, fall tillage, and with rows up - down slope into wetland assessment area (WAA).

_______________________________________________________

Point and/or non-point pollution from semi-pervious, or impervious surface (i.e. feedlots or paved roads).

0.75

____________

0.5

____________

0.25

____________

0.1

____________

0.0

 

Model Variable

__________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

Index

____________

VWDEN: Density of Wetlands in the Landscape At least six wetlands within a two mile radius

_______________________________________________________

1.0

____________

Definition: The absolute density of wetlands in a given water regime within the defined boundary.

Logic: Wetland landscapes often support many different

types, hence providing different habitats for a variety of wildlife.

Five wetlands within a two mile radius

_______________________________________________________

Three or four wetlands within a two mile radius

_______________________________________________________

Two wetlands within a two mile radius

_______________________________________________________

This is only wetland within two mile radius

0.75

____________

0.50

____________

0.25

____________

0.0

 

Model Variable

___________________________

Measurement or Condition

_______________________________________________________

Index

____________

 
WETUSE: Wetland Land Use Wetland never tilled; and

minimal impact from grazing and/or haying.

_______________________________________________________

1.0

____________

 
Definition: Dominant land use and condition of the wetland assessment area.

Logic: Landuse in the wetland

basin effects the ability of the wetland to function properly.

Wetland tilled less than or equal to 2 yrs. out of 10 (0 to 20%); and/or moderate impact from grazing and/or haying.

_______________________________________________________

Wetland tilled less than or equal to 5 yrs. out of 10 (21 to 50%); and/or severe impact from grazing, haying, or tillage.

_______________________________________________________

Wetland tilled greater than 5 yrs. out of 10 (>51%).

_______________________________________________________

Wetland more severely disturbed than indicated above; (e.g. no vegetation, rutted, CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation), urban fill, etc.).

0.75

____________

0.5

____________

0.25

____________

0.0

 

Exhibit B

Functional Assessment Data Sheet DRAFT

Name of producer _______________________________________________________________

Address _______________________________________________________________________

Name and version of HGM model used ______________________________________________

Site location: County __________ Sec. __________ T. _____ R. _____ (attach an aerial photo)

Tract No. _________ Field No. _________ Site No. __________

NRCS Evaluator(s) __________________________ Date ____________

Purpose of Assessment __________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

FSA wetland determination ________________ NWI label ____________________________

Site acreage _________________________ Watershed acreage ________________________

Current Site Conditions: ___________________________________

Landuse ___________________________________________________________________

(examples: center pivot on irrigated cropland, corn/soybean rotation, adjacent area recently tilled, wetland not recently tilled)

 Vegetative cover ____________________________________________________________

(examples: scattered smartweed and barnyard grass, 20% crop residue)

 Hydrologic conditions ________________________________________________________

(examples: center pirot irrigated, site is dry with surface cracks)

 Soils on site ________________________________________________________________

Comments: _____________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

Exhibit C

VARIABLES INDEX WORKSHEET

HIGH PLAINS PLAYAS

WETLAND WETLAND MITIGATION MITIGATION

AREA (WA) AREA (wa) AREA (MA) AREA (ma)

Before Const After Const.,

(pre-impacted) (post-impact) Rest., Manip. Rest., Manip.

VBUFFCON ________ _________ _________ _________

VBUFFWID ________ _________ _________ _________

VCANOPY ________ _________ _________ _________

VDETRITUS ________ _________ _________ _________

VLANDSP ________ _________ _________ _________

VMICRO ________ _________ _________ _________

VMOD ________ _________ _________ _________

VPDEN ________ _________ _________ _________

VPORE ________ _________ _________ _________

VPRATIO ________ _________ _________ _________

VSED ________ _________ _________ _________

VSOADD ________ _________ _________ _________

VSORED ________ _________ _________ _________

VUPUSE ________ _________ _________ _________

VWDEN ________ _________ _________ _________

VWETUSE ________ _________ _________ _________

Exhibit D

FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY INDEX EQUATION WORKSHEETS

HIGH PLAINS PLAYAS

WA = Wetland Site (pre-impacted)

wa = Wetland Site (post-impact)

MA = Mitigation Site (before constructtion, rest., manip.)

ma = Mitigation Site (after constructtion, rest., manip.)

HYDROLOGY

Function 1. Maintains characteristic of hydrologic regime: The capacity of the wetland to maintain characteristic static and/or dynamic storage, soil moisture, and ground water interactions.

Note: only used for closed basins

Index = (VMOD + Vsed + VsoADD + VsoREd + Vupuse + Vwetuse) / 6

WA = ( _____ + ______ + ______ + ______ + ______ + ______ ) / 6 = ______

wa = ( _____ + ______ + ______ + ______ + ______ + ______ ) / 6 = ______

MA = ( _____ + ______ + ______ + ______ + ______ + ______ ) / 6 = ______

ma = ( _____ + ______ + ______ + ______ + ______ + ______ ) / 6 = ______

 or for other depressional wetlands that have significant dynamic storage from surface throughflows:

Index = [VMOD +Vsed +VsoADD +VsoREd +Vupuse +Vwetuse + ((Vdetritus + VmicRo + VPDEN) / 3)] / 8

WA = [ ____ +____+______ +______ + _____ + ______ + (( ______ + ______ + _____)/3] / 8 = ______

wa = [ ____ +____+______ +______ + _____ + ______ + (( ______ + ______ + _____)/3] / 8 = ______

MA = [ ____ +____+______ +______ + _____ + ______ + (( ______ + ______ + _____)/3] / 8 = ______

ma = [ ____ +____+______ +______ + _____ + ______ + (( ______ + ______ + _____)/3] / 8 = ______

 BIOGEOCHEMICAL

Function 2. Maintains elemental cycling: Abiotic and biotic processes that convert elements (e.g., nutrients and metals) from one form to another. Primarily recycling processes.

Note: only used for closed basins

Index = [((VbuffCON + VbuffWID) / 2) + VMOD + VPDEN + VPORE + Vsed + Vwetuse] / 6

WA = [ ((_____ + _____ ) / 2) + ____ + _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ ] / 6= _____

wa = [ ((_____ + _____ ) / 2) + ____ + _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ ] / 6= _____

MA = [ ((_____ + _____ ) / 2) + ____ + _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ ] / 6= _____

ma = [ ((_____ + _____ ) / 2) + ____ + _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ ] / 6= _____

Function 3. Retains particulates: Deposition and retention of inorganic and organic particulates (>0.45 m m) from the water column, primarily through physical processes.

If wetland has no outlet, then: Index = [((Vsed + Vupuse) / 2) x VMOD] 1/2

WA = [(( _____ + _____ ) / 2) x_____ ] 1/2 = _____

wa = [(( _____ + _____ ) / 2) x_____ ] 1/2 = _____

MA = [(( _____ + _____ ) / 2) x_____ ] 1/2 = _____

ma = [(( _____ + _____ ) / 2) x_____ ] 1/2 = _____

 If wetland has an outlet, then: Index = [((Vsed + Vupuse + Vwetuse) / 3) x VMOD] 1/2

WA = [(( ____ + _____ + _____ ) / 3) x _____ ] 1/2 = _____

wa = [(( ____ + _____ + _____ ) / 3) x _____ ] 1/2 = _____

MA = [(( ____ + _____ + _____ ) / 3) x _____ ] 1/2 = _____

ma = [(( ____ + _____ + _____ ) / 3) x _____ ] 1/2 = _____

 Function 4. Removes dissolved elements and compounds: The removal of imported nutrients, contaminants, and other elements and compounds via biotic and abiotic processes.

Note: only used for depressional wetlands with throughflow

Index =

[([((VbuffCON +VbuffWID) /2) +VMOD +VpoRE +Vsed +Vwetuse +((Vdetritus +VMICRO +VPDEN) / 3)] /6

WA=[([(( _____ + _____ ) /2) +_____+_____+_____+ _____ + (( ______ + _____ + _____) /3)]/6) = ______

wa = [([(( _____ + _____ ) /2) +_____+_____+_____+ _____ + (( ______ + _____ + _____) /3)] /6) = ______

MA=[([(( _____ + _____ ) /2) +_____+_____+_____+ _____ + (( ______ + _____ + _____) /3)] /6) = ______

ma = [([(( _____ + _____ ) /2) +_____+_____+_____+ _____ + (( ______ + _____ + _____) /3)] /6) = ______

Function 5. Exports organic carbon and detritus: Export of dissolved and particulate organic carbon and detritus from a wetland (e.g., through leaching, flushing, displacement, and erosion).

Note: only used for depressional wetlands with throughflow

Index = [VMOD x (((VbuffCON + VbuffWID) /2) + Vwetuse + ((Vdetritus + Vmicro + VPDEN) /3) /3)] 1/2

WA = [ ____ x ((( ______ + _____ ) /2) + ______ + (( ______ + ______ + _____) / 3) /3] 1/2 = ______

wa = [ ____ x ((( ______ + _____ ) /2) + ______ + (( ______ + ______ + _____) / 3) /3] 1/2 = ______

MA = [ ____ x ((( ______ + _____ ) /2) + ______ + (( ______ + ______ + _____) / 3) /3] 1/2 = ______

ma = [ ____ x ((( ______ + _____ ) /2) + ______ + (( ______ + ______ + _____) / 3) /3] 1/2 = ______

VEGETATION

Function 6. Maintains characteristic plant community: The capacity to perpetuate a plant community through maintaining mechanisms for seed dispersal, providing substrata conducive to seed burial and storage (seed bank), and conditions conducive to vegetative propagation (a response to stressors of drought and disturbances by fire and herbivores). This function emphasizes the dynamics and structure of a depression’s plant community determined by species composition and abundance.

Index = (Vcanopy + VMICRO + VMOD + VPDEN + Vpratio + Vsed + Vwetuse ) / 7

WA = ( ______ + ______ + _____ + _____ + ______ + ____ + ______ ) / 7 = ______

wa = ( ______ + ______ + _____ + _____ + ______ + ____ + ______ ) / 7 = ______

MA = ( ______ + ______ + _____ + _____ + ______ + ____ + ______ ) / 7 = ______

ma = ( ______ + ______ + _____ + _____ + ______ + ____ + ______ ) / 7 = ______

WILDLIFE

 Function 7. Maintain habitat structure within wetland: Soil, vegetation, and other aspects of ecosystem structure required by animals for resting, feeding, hiding, and reproduction.

Index = [[((VbuffCON +VbuffWID) /2) + Vcanopy + Vpden + Vpratio + ((Vsed + Vupuse + Vwetuse) / 3)] /5

WA = [(( ______ + ______ )/2) + ______ + _____ + ______+ ((_____+ ______ + ______ ) / 3)] / 5 = ______

wa = [(( ______ + ______ )/2) + ______ + _____ + ______+ ((_____+ ______ + ______ ) / 3)] / 5 = ______

MA = [(( ______ + ______ )/2) + ______ + _____ + ______+ ((_____+ ______ + ______ ) / 3)] / 5 = ______

ma = [(( ______ + ______ )/2) + ______ + _____ + ______+ ((_____+ ______ + ______ ) / 3)] / 5 = ______

Function 8. Maintain food web: The production of organic matter of sufficient quantity and quality to support energy requirements of characteristic food webs.

Index = [((VbuffCON + VbuffWID) / 2) + Vdetritus + Vlandsp + Vpratio + Vsed + Vupuse + Vwetuse] / 7

WA = [(( ______ + ______) / 2) + ______ + ______ + ______ + ____ + _____ + ______ ] / 7 = ______

wa = [(( ______ + ______) / 2) + ______ + ______ + ______ + ____ + _____ + ______ ] / 7 = ______

MA = [(( ______ + ______) / 2) + ______ + ______ + ______ + ____ + _____ + ______ ] / 7 = ______

ma = [(( ______ + ______) / 2) + ______ + ______ + ______ + ____ + _____ + ______ ] / 7 = ______

Function 9. Maintains habitat interspersion and connectivity among wetlands: The spatial distribution of a depressional wetland in relation to nearby wetlands.

Index = [ F7 + VLANDSP + Vwden] / 3

WA = [ ____ + _____ + _____ ] / 3 = ______

wa = [ ____ + _____ + _____ ] / 3 = ______

MA = [ ____ + _____ + _____ ] / 3 = ______

ma = [ ____ + _____ + _____ ] / 3 = ______

Exhibit E

FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY INDEX EQUATION SUMMARY WORKSHEET

HIGH PLAINS PLAYAS

WETLAND WETLAND MITIGATION MITIGATION

AREA (WA) AREA (wa) AREA (MA) AREA (ma)

Before Const After Const.,

(pre-impacted) (post-impact) Rest., Manip. Rest., Manip.

F1 ________ _________ _________ _________

F2 ________ _________ _________ _________

F3 ________ _________ _________ _________

F4 ________ _________ _________ _________

F5 ________ _________ _________ _________

F6 ________ _________ _________ _________

F7 ________ _________ _________ _________

F8 ________ _________ _________ _________

F9 ________ _________ _________ _________

Exhibit F

WETLAND MITIGATION RATIO WORKSHEET

HIGH PLAINS PLAYAS

SURFACE AREAS Area ( acres)

Wetland Area (pre-impacted) [WAI] = _______

Wetland Area (post-impact) [wap] = _______

Mitigation Area (before constructtion, rest., manip.) [MAB] = _______

Mitigation Area (after constructtion, rest., manip.) [maa] = _______

NOTE: FCU is equal to the Function FCI times Area (i.e. funtion WA x WAI)

ASSESSMENT ASSESSMENT MITIGATION MITIGATION

WETLAND WETLAND AREA [MA] AREA

AREA [WA] AREA Before Const Before Const., TOTAL FCU’S

(pre-impact] ACRES (pre-impact) Rest., Manip. ACRES Rest., Manip. TO MITIGATE

FCI [WAI] FCU’s[WA*WAI] FCI [MAB] FCU’s[MA*MAB] (WA + MA FCU’s)

l l

F1 ________ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F2 ________ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F3 ________ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F4 ________ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F5 _______ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F6 _______ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F7 _______ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F8 _______ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F9 _______ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

ASSESSMENT ASSESSMENT MITIGATION MITIGATION

WETLAND WETLAND AREA [ma] AREA

AREA [wa] AREA After Const After Const., TOTAL FCU’s

(post-impact) ACRES (post-impact) Rest., Manip. ACRES Rest., Manip. REPLACED

FCI [wap] FCU’s[wa *wap] FCI [MAB] FCU’s[MA*MAB] (WA + MA FCU’S)

l l

F1 ________ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F2 ________ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F3 ________ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F4 ________ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F5 _______ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F6 _______ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F7 _______ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F8 _______ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

l l

F9 _______ x _____ = _________ l _________ x _____ = _________ l _________

Exhibit G

               
               
  LOTUS and EXCEL WORKSHEETS            
               
  HIGH PLAINS DEPRESSIONAL WETLANDS            
               
  WETLAND FUNCITONAL ASSESSMENT   COMPS.        
               
               

F1

HYDROLOGIC REGIME "Option" =            
  Wetland Assessment Area (impacted)            
  Mitigation Area            
               
         

WETLAND

MITIGATION

MITIGATION

         

ASSESS.

AREA

AREA

         

AREA

Before Const,

AFTER Const,

         

(impacted)

Rest., Manip.

Rest., Manip.

 

2, 3, 5, 7, 8

V

BUFFCON =      
 

2, 3, 5, 7, 8

V

BUFFWID =      
 

6, 7

V

CANOPY =      
 

1t, 3, 5, 8

V

DETRITUS =      
 

8, 9

V

LANDSP =      
 

1t, 3, 5, 6, 7

V

MICRO =      
 

1, 1t, 2, 3, 4o, 4, 5, 6

V

MOD =      
 

1t, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9

V

PDEN =      
 

2, 3

V

PORE =      
 

6, 7, 8

V

PRATIO =      
 

1, 1t, 2, 3, 4o, 4, 6, 7, 8

V

SED =      
 

1,1t

V

SOADD =      
 

1, 1t

V

SORED =      
 

1, 1t, 4o, 4, 7, 8

V

UPUSE =      
 

9

V

WDEN =      
 

1, 1t, 2, 3, 4o, 5, 6, 7, 8

V

WETUSE =      
               
  HYDROLOGY            
  BIOGEOCHEM            
  VEGETATION            
  WILDLIFE            

 

 Appendix H

PRODUCER CHECKLIST FOR MITIGATION

Note: All costs are owner responsibilities.

1. Are you willing to sign over to USDA a permanent easement for mitigation site?

Yes ________ No ________

If answer is No - Mitigation is not possible.

2. Do you have a suitable site located? (Mitigation site should be in same local watershed with similar soils, landscape position, and topography.)

Yes ________ No ________

3. Do you own mitigation site? Yes ________ No ________

If No, will you purchase easement rights? Yes ________ No ________

4. Is mitigation site recorded in Public Land Record? Yes ________ No. ________

5. Are there any existing Liens/Mortgages on mitigation site? Yes ________ No ________

6. Who will develop the mitigation plan?

____ Owner/operator

____ Employ another party to develop plan

____ Request assistance from NRCS and/or FWS to develop plan

7. Are you willing to obtain any/or all of federal, state, or local permits that apply to this project?

Yes ________ No ________

REVISED DRAFT
January 26, 1999

Natural Resources Conservation Service
Wetland Regional Technical Team
1502 E. Harding, Suite 11
Garden City, Kansas 67846
Phone 316-276-2104
FAX 316-276-1870

REFERENCE GUIDE:

INTERIM FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT MODEL FOR PLAYA WETLANDS

 

CLASS: DEPRESSIONAL

SUBCLASS: HIGH PLAINS PLAYAS

 Version 2.7

CONTENTS OF REFERENCE GUIDE FOR INTERIM FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT MODEL FOR PLAYA WETLANDS

Explanation of Model
Functional profile
Functions: Explanations and Associated Variables
Definition of Variables and Functions
Hydrogeomorphic Wetland Function Assessment Glossary

EXPLANATION OF MODEL

The Interim Functional Assessment Model (IFAP) will be used to measure changes in wetland functions due to impacts to restoration. This document is being developed for depressional wetlands where the throughflow hydrology is not related to out of bank flooding. The present form of this model is based on the draft Rainwater basin and Pudget Sound hydrogeomorphic models and best professional judgment. This draft is a working document and is meant to provide the foundation for development of IFAP models particular to a specific subclass of wetlands within a defined boundary (Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) or group of MLRA’s.)

The Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) approach to functional assessment follows three guiding principles: classification of the wetland according to geomorphic and hydrologic characteristics, identification of functions and standardization of the assessment by using variables calibrated to reference wetlands. Classification is used to partition natural variability in wetlands, so that the assessment can be built around a smaller subset of wetlands that share common structure and functioning. Functions are commonly recognized ecosystem processes, while variables are identifiable indicators of the strength of the function.

The choice of reference wetland sites is the most critical and controversial component of the HGM approach The choice of reference sites will influence the outcome of all subsequent assessments. If you select reference sites which are too diverse in nature, from either natural variation or manmade impacts, then the resulting assessment will lack the necessary resolution to detect significant losses in functions. If your reference sites are limited to a few pristine sites, either no comparable sites will exist in the landscape, or your model will be so limited in scope to have little practical use. This is why consensus of interdisciplinary teams is needed for the selection of reference sites.

Reference standard sites are the least altered sites of reference wetlands that best represent the wetland subclass. These wetlands have the highest sustainable level of functions possible within an MLRA.

FUNCTIONAL PROFILE

Class: Depressional

Subclass Name: High Plains Playas 

Reference Domain: Central and Southern High Plains

 Existing classification:

NWI - PEMA, PEMC

Climate: Semi-arid

 Geomorphic Setting: Depression

Geologic Materials: Loamy and clayey sediments (palustrine and lacustrine) derived from eolian deposits, sedimentary rocks, or adjacent soils

Soils:

*Hydric soils in playas - Lodgepole, Mouser, Ness, and Pleasant soils in the Mesic Temperature Regime and Cedarlake, Lamesa, Ranco, and Randall soils in the

Thermic Temperature Regime

*Non-hydric soils in playas - Feterita (?) in the Mesic Temperature Regime and Lofton,

McLean, Seagraves, Southplains, Chapel, Lockney, and Lazbuddie soils in the Thermic moisture regime

Associated upland soils - see Geographically Associated Soils within each Official Series

Description

Permeability of substrate - slow and very slow

* examples

Hydrology:

Water sources: Principally overland flow and direct precipitation

Water losses: Evapotranspiration and infiltration down towards the aquifer (recharge)

Water table: Perched

Saturation: Epi-saturated

Hydrodynamics: Mainly vertical fluctuations within the wetland

Hydrologic functions: Elemental cycling, removal of imported elements and compounds, particulate retention, exports organic carbon and detritus

Biogeochemical functions: Maintains characteristic plant community

Vegetative Communities (Stewart and Kantrud): Class I; Ephemeral, wet prairie.

Class II, temporary, low prairie (sedge meadow). Note: Vegetation in both uplands and wetlands is strictly herbaceous (the only exception would be scattered sage brush in the sand sage prairie.)

Fully functional ecosystem characterized by: Mid and short grass rangeland on uplands along with remnants of the sand-sage prairie which is considered tall grass prairie. Native perennial dominated herbaceous vegetation (example: spikerush) in wetlands.

Somewhat impaired ecosystem characterized by: Row cropped uplands treated with conservation practices (terraces, conservation tillage, etc. Crops would include: wheat, grain sorghum, millet, corn, cotton, and soybeans. Wetlands infrequently tilled and dominated by large seeded annual plants (smartweed, barnyard grass, etc.) Severely grazed uplands with wetlands containing a mix of native perennials and annuals.

Critically impaired ecosystem characterized by: Clean tilled uplands with or without partially functioning conservation practices (worn down terraces, straight row farming).

Wetlands frequently tilled. Wetland containing a few scattered annuals.

Vegetative Red Flags (T&E): None

 Noxious plants/invaders: Bur ragweed (wooley-leaf bursage, lakeweed), and Blue weed sunflower (primarily a Texas concern).

 FUNCTIONAL PROFILE (cont.)

 Species that rely on the habitat of this subclass for all or part of their life cycles:

Invertebrates such as prairie shrimp and tadpole shrimp, shore birds, waterfowl, salamanders, deer , fox, rabbits, pheasant, etc.

Threatened and Endangered Species:

Live here: None

Pass through: Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Whooping Crane

Rely on: None

Complex with similar wetlands:

 Existing literature about this subclass:

Allan B.L., Bauchert, J. 1993. Studies of Playas on the Southern High Plains in Southwestern Kansas. Plant and Soil Science Department, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

Kindscber K., Wilson S., Fraser A., Lauver C. 1996. Vegetation of Western Playa Lakes--1993-1995. Kansas Biological Survey Report No.70, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

Watts C, Graber S., Lister N., Flowers T. 1996. Soil Moisture Study of Western Kansas Playa Lakes--1992-1995 Meade and Morton Counties, Kansas

Current research on this subject:

Playa Lake Study by Wetlands Resource Technical Team, Garden City, KS

FUNCTIONS : Explanations and Associated Variables

1.0 Discussion of Function and Variables (Hydrologic Regime)

The capacity of a wetland to maintain characteristics static and/or dynamic storage, soil moisture, and ground water interactions ( Note: only used for closed basins)

Index = (VMOD + VSED + VSORED + VSOADD +VUPUSE + VWETUSE)/6

or for other depressional wetlands that have significant dynamic storage from surface throughflows:

Index =[( VMOD + VSED + VSORED + VSOADD + VUPUSE + VWETUSE) + (VDETRITUS + VMICRO + VPDEN)/3]/7

 The "maintains characteristic hydrologic regime" function encompasses all the hydrologic attributes of depressional wetlands. All hydrologic processes are modeled by one function because depressional wetlands and their surrounding landscapes (watersheds) are tightly linked. For example, land-use activities in surrounding uplands (VUPUSE) affects infiltration of precipitation, thus regulating the overland flow-to-groundwater ratio describing movement of water into depressional wetlands. Further, because overland flow land-use in a wetland depressional (VWETUSE) may affect evapotranspiration, soil structure, and soil moisture.

Sediment delivery (VSED) may completely eliminate dynamic and static water storage if a wetland fills with sediment and its basin is eliminated. Lowering the elevation of an outlet may drain a depressional wetland completely, while raising an outlet will cause a depression to flood more deeply (VMOD). Further, source area flow interception (VSORED) of surface water with ditches or subsurface water with drainage tiles removes water that would otherwise flow to a wetland basin from its catchment. Addition of water to the wetland (VSOADD through irrigation, trans-basin diversion and alterations of land surfaces to impervious surfaces makes a wetland wetter than its natural state and alters natural wetland functions.

Finally, for depressional wetlands that have substantial surface flow-through (e.g., inlets and outlets, roughness features (VDETRITUS + VMICRO + VPDEN) serve to detain flow, thus contributing to dynamic storage.

Definition: The capacity of a wetland to maintain a hydrologic regime that supports static and/or dynamic storage, soil moisture in the unsaturated zone, and groundwater interactions.

Effects On-Site: Contributes to the maintenance of characteristic soils, vegetation, and invertebrate and vertebrate communities and provides for runoff water storage.

Effects Off-Site: Modifies off-site hydrology of wetland and riverine systems within the surface water and/or groundwater flow net.

 2.0 Discussion of Function and Variables (Elemental Cycling)

Index of function = [ ((VBUFFCON + VBUFFWID )/2) + VMOD + VPDEN + VPORE + VSED + VWETUSE]/6

This function only used for closed basins

Elemental cycling requires wetland plants and soil microorganisms for uptake and release of elements through growth, decomposition, and leaching. Plants, influenced by land-use activities within a depressional wetland and its adjacent buffer zone (VWETUSE + ((VBUFFCON + VBUFFWID )/2)), provide a strong seasonal pulse of temporary storage and release of elements (including nutrients). (VPORE ), soil pores provide surface area for soil water contact and increased surface area for microbial activity. Seasonal uptake and release is a fundamental ecological function shared by all temperate and subtropical ecosystems containing plants.

Definition: Abiotic and biotic processes that convert elements (e.g. nutrients and metals) from one form to another. Primarily recycling processes.

Effects On-Site: Effects of cycling are elemental balances between gains through import processes and losses through, efflux to the atmosphere, long-term retention in sediments, and hydraulic export (hydraulic export is minimal unless outlet leaves the basin, a reason to separate outlets that allow water to move elements and compounds out vs. pits which keep them on site).

Effects Off-Site: To the extent that elements and nutrients are held (and processed) on-site, they are less available for export to downstream wetlands and to other aquatic environments.

3.0  Discussion of Function and Variables (Retention of Particulates)

If wetland has an outlet, then:

Index =[(( VSED + VUPUSE + VWETUSE /3) x VMOD ]1/2

If wetland has no outlet, VWETUSE is not relevant:

Index =[(( VSED + VUPUSE)/2) x VMOD ]1/2

When the function is applied to a depressional wetland that has a surface outlet, land-use activities within both the wetland watershed (VUPUSE) and wetland (VWETUSE) of a depression control the supply of particulates and the capacity of the depression to retain them. If a depression receives sediment (VSED) at a rate that prevents it from maintaining itself on the geologic timescales over which it was formed (i.e., it is filling), the function is not sustainable and receives a lower index score. However, if a depressional wetland has no surface outlet, it will trap sediments regardless of the types of activities that occur within its basin. Therefore, the land-use activity variable (VWETUSE) is omitted when modeling depressions without outlets.

Definition: Deposition and retention of inorganic and organic particulates (>0.45 um) from the water column, primarily through physical processes.

Effects On-Site: Sediment deposition in a basin is a natural geologic process that is maintained over thousands of years. The presence of these sediments and the soil-forming processes that follow result in the wetland having characteristic substrate, geochemistry, and hydrology.

Effects Off-Site: Reduces potential export of sediment to other wetland and aquatic systems downstream. Off-site effects are minimal in a closed drainage system. The only way there is sediment carried off-site is if outlets are present.

4.0 Discussion of Function and Variables (Removal of Elements)

This function should only be used for depressional wetlands with throughflow.

The removal of imported nutrients, contaminants, and other elements and compounds via biotic and abiotic processes.

Index =[(((VBUFFCON + VBUFFWID )/2) + VMOD + VPORE + VSED + VWETUSE + (VDETRITUS + VMICRO + VPDEN)/3)]/6

Removal of elements and compounds can occur in flow-through depressions by the more-or-less permanent accumulation of these constituents in sediments, by denaturation of complex organics, and by processes that release them into the atmosphere (e.g., denitrification). In forested depressions, storage of elements via uptake by trees represents a relatively long-term accumulation (sink) of elements. Therefore, land-use both within (VWETUSE) and adjacent ((VBUFFCON + VBUFFWID )/2) to a depression and the delivery of sediments (VSED) are important to the removal of elements and compounds. (VPORE ) provides surface area for soil water contact and increased surface area for microbial activity. (VMOD )(if it lowers an outlet) may drain a wetland completely; and if it raises the outlet, (VMOD )will cause a depression to be deeper.

Microtopographic roughness (VMICRO), plant density (VPDEN), and detritus (VDETRITUS) detain water flow to increase residence time for uptake and breakdown processes. Small-scale roughness also provides surfaces for attachment of microorganisms that are responsible for much of the sequestering, interconversion, and breakdown of imported materials.

Effects On-site: Nutrients and contaminants in surface and ground water that come into contact with sediments and vegetation are either removed over the long term by sedimentation or are transformed into innocuous and biogeochemically inactive forms.

Effects -Off-site: Chemical constituents removed and concentrated in wetlands reduce potential for downstream export to other wetland and aquatic ecosystems. In addition, removal of pollutants in soil solution reduces contamination of groundwater.

5.0 Discussion of Function and Variables (Organic Carbon Export)

Index - [(VMOD x (((VBUFFCON + VBUFFWID )/2) + VWETUSE +( VDETRITUS + VMICRO + VPDEN)/3)/3]1/2

This function should only be used for depressional wetlands with throughflow.

Multiplying two sets of variables and calculating the square root emphasizes that this function has two interdependent requirements: (1) organic matter as a source of organic carbon; and (2) a pathway for exporting organic matter (VMOD). The presence of outlets in an assessed depressional wetland must be scored relative to appropriate reference standards. The remaining variables used in this function(VMICRO, VPDEN, and VDETRITUS) reflect the source of organic matter.

Definition: Export of dissolved and particulate organic carbon and detritus from the wetland (e.g., through leaching, flushing, displacement, and erosion).

 

Effects On-Site: The removal of organic matter from living biomass, detritus, and soil organic matter contributes to carbon turnover (plant storage) and food web support.

Effects Off-Site: Provides support for food webs and biogeochemical processing.

6.0 Discussion of Function and Variables (Plant Community)

Index = [VCANOPY + VMICRO + VMOD + VVPDEN + VPRATIO+ VSED + VWETUSE ]/7

The capacity to perpetuate a plant community through maintaining mechanisms for seed dispersal, providing substrate conducive to seed burial and storage (seed bank), and conditions conducive to vegetative propagation (a response to stressors of drought and disturbance by fire and herbivores). This function emphasizes the dynamics and structure of a depression’s plant community, determined by species composition , abundance and species diversity.

The ability of the plant community to maintain itself or the changes that will occur over time in the community are captured by characterizing five variables. The species composition of the community (VPRATIO) is used as an indicator of current conditions as compared to the reference standard. (VCANOPY ) are variables that are used to characterize the vertical structure (i.e., number of vertical layers of vegetation) in the plant community to compare to reference conditions.

Definition: Characteristic plant communities are not dominated by exotic or nuisance species. Vegetation is maintained by mechanisms such as seed dispersal, seed banks, and vegetative propagation which (all) respond to variations in hydrology and disturbances such as fire and herbivores. The emphasis is on the temporal dynamics and structure of the plant community as revealed by species composition and abundance.

Effects On-Site: Creates microclimatic conditions that support the life histories of plants and animals. Converts solar radiation and carbon dioxide into complex organic carbon that provides energy to drive food webs. Provides habitat for feeding, and cover for resting, refuge, escape, breeding and nesting for resident and migratory animals.

Effects Off-Site: Provides a source of vegetative propagules for adjacent ecosystems which assists in revegetation following drought or disturbance and provides for gene flow between populations. Provides habitat for animals from adjacent ecosystems and for migrating birds. (waterfowl, shorebirds, etc.)

7.0 Discussion of Function and Variables (Faunal Habitat)

Index = [((VBUFFCON + VBUFFWID )/2) + VCANOPY + VPDEN + VPRATIO +((VUPUSE + VSED + VWETUSE) /3)]/5

As is true for a number of the other depresional functions, land-use activities ( VWETUSE) and sediment delivery (VSED) are important in maintaining faunal habitat.

Definition: Soil, vegetation, and other aspects of ecosystem structure within a wetland are required by animals for resting, feeding, hiding, and reproduction.

Effects On-Site: Provides potential feeding, resting, hiding, escape, nesting and brooding sites for vertebrates and feeding surfaces for invertebrates.

Effects Off-Site: Provides habitat cover for migratory birds and for resident wildlife.

8.0 Discussion of Function and Variables (Food Webs)

Index = (((VBUFFCON + VBUFFWID )/2) + VDETRITUS + VLANDSP + VPRATIO + VSED + VUPUSE + VWETUSE)/7

 Food webs require both an energy source (e.g., primary production of appropriate species of plants) and habitat for consumers. The indicators include the sustainability of a depression’s basin (VSED), landscape habitat factors (VLANDSP) native to non-native plant species ratio (VPRATIO) and the presence of litter and debris (VDETRITUS)

Definition: The production of organic matter of sufficient quantity and quality to support energy requirements of characteristic food webs.

Effects On-Site: Provides the material of live and dead plant and animal tissue to support both terrestrial and aquatic food webs.

Effects Off-Site: Supports food webs of organisms that use other wetlands and terrestrial habitat. 

9.0 Discussion of function and variables (Habitat Interspersion)

Index = [F7 + VLANDSP + VWDEN] / 3

Connectivity among wetlands is seen as essential to maintain habitat in both time and space through the presence of surface water connections to other aquatic ecosystems. While this function shares several variables with Function 7 (maintains faunal habitat), there is a fundamental difference between the two functions. Local habitat conditions reflecting land-use activities (VLANDSP + VWDEN) are interdependent with landscape-level variables through multiplication. A depression that scores zero in either local habitat attributes or potential landscape variables will not perform this function. Connectivity among wetlands is seen as essential to maintain habitat in both time and space through the presence of wetland complexes.

Definition: The spatial distribution of an individual wetland in reference to adjacent wetlands within the complex.

Effects On-Site: The assessed wetland contributes to habitat features of the wetland complex by virtue of its position in the landscape.

Effects Off-Site: Contributes to overall landscape diversity of habitat for aquatic and terrestrial organisms.

DEFINITION OF VARIABLES AND FUNCTIONS FOR DEPRESSIONAL WETLANDS

VARIABLES

VBUFFCON The continuity of the buffer zone surrounding the wetland effects how much of an impact the buffer zone has on the wetland.

VBUFFWID The width of the buffer zone surrounding the wetland effects how much of an impact the buffer zone has on the wetland.

VCANOPY The canopy is used to characterize the quality of the plant community and wildlife habitat, particulate removal and elemental cycling.

VDETRITUS The detritus provides a microbial layer that effect water storage and breakdown processes.

VLANDSP The condition of the landscape within a one mile radius of the center of the wetland being assessed determines the quality of potential dispersal area and home range for wetland and upland species.

VMICRO The microtopographic roughness detains water flow to increase residence time for uptake and breakdown processes.

VMOD Excavation or modification of a wetland basin will reduce the functional capacity of a wetland drainage.

VPDEN Plant density will detain water flow to increase residence time for uptake and breakdown processes.

VPORE The physical quality of the soil within a depth of 50 cm. from the soil surface.

VPRATIO The species composition or plant ratio of native to non-native plants, in the community, is used as an indicator of current conditions as compared to the reference standard.

VSED Extent of sediment delivered to wetland from culturally accelerated sources.

VSORED The source area flow interception of surface water with ditches or subsurface water with drainage tiles removes water that would otherwise flow to a wetland basin from its catchment.

VSOADD The source area flow addition of water to the wetland such as irrigation, trans-basin diversion, alterations of land surfaces to impervious surfaces.

VUPUSE The land use activities in the surrounding uplands influences infiltration of precipitation and movement of chemicals, sediment and detritus into the wetland

VWDEN Wetland landscapes often support many wetlands of different types (temporary, seasonal, and semi- permanent). The density and pattern of different types of wetlands in the landscape is related to how animals use them and hence their contribution to habitat.

VWETUSE Land-use in a wetland depression affects vegetation evapotranspiration, soil structure, and soil moisture

FUNCTIONS

Maintains characteristic hydrologic regime: The function encompasses all the hydrologic attributes of depressional wetlands (by contrast, five hydrologic functions are identified for riverine systems in the Riverine Guidebook). All hydrologic processes are modeled by one function because depressional wetlands and their surrounding landscapes(watersheds) are tightly linked.

Elemental cycling: Elemental cycling requires wetland plants and soil microorganisms for uptake and release of elements through growth, decomposition, and leaching.

Removes dissolved elements and compounds: Removal of elements and compounds can occur in flow-through depressions by the more-or-less permanent accumulation of these constituents in sediments, by denaturation of complex organics, and by processes that release them into the atmosphere (e.g., denitrification).

Retention of particulates: When the function is applied to a depressional wetland that has a surface outlet, land-use activities within both the wetland watershed and wetland of a depression control the supply of particulates and the capacity of the depression to retain them.

Exports organic carbon and detritus: Export of dissolved and particulate organic carbon and detritus from the wetland (e.g., through leaching, flushing, displacement, and erosion).

Maintains characteristic plant community: The capacity to perpetuate a plant community through maintaining mechanisms for seed dispersal, providing substrate conducive to seed burial and storage (seed bank), and conditions conducive to vegetative propagation (a response to stressors of drought and disturbance by fire and herbivores). This function emphasizes the dynamics and structure of a depression's plant community, determined by species composition and abundance.

Maintain habitat structure within a wetland: As is true for a number of the other depresional functions, land-use activities and sediment delivery are important in maintaining faunal habitat. However, landscape-level factors are also important to this function and so are given equal weighting in the model. Landscape-level activities are especially critical for depressions isolated from surface water flows because isolation (defined by lack of inlet and outlet channels) prevents exchanges of obligate and facultative aquatic organisms with more permanent bodies of water.

Maintain food webs: Food webs require both an energy source (e.g., primary production of appropriate species of plants) and habitat for consumers (fauna).

Maintains habitat interspersion and connectivity among wetlands: Connectivity amount wetlands is as essential to maintain habitat in both time and space through the presence of surface water connections to other aquatic ecosystems. While this function shares several variables with "Maintain Food Webs", there is a fundamental difference between the two models.

DRAFT

HYDROGEOMORPHIC WETLAND FUNCTION ASSESSMENT GLOSSARY

Current as of: September 15, 1997

abiotic: Non-living processes in contrast to biotic or living processes. For example, the deposition of suspended sediments on a floodplain is an abiotic process.
aerobic: Conditions in which free molecular oxygen is present. In contrast see anaerobic.
anaerobic: Conditions in which free molecular oxygen is absent. In contrast see aerobic.
asessment area: The wetland area, or portion of the wetland, which will be assessed with HGM models. There has to be at least one assessment area per assessment.
assessment model: A simple model that defines the relationship between ecosystem and landscape scale variables and functional capacity of a wetland. The model is developed and calibrated using Reference Wetlands from a Reference Domain.
assessment objective: The reason why an assessment of wetland functions is being conducted. Assessment objectives normally fall into one of three categories. These include: documenting existing conditions, comparing different wetlands at the same point in time (e.g., alternatives analysis, and comparing the same wetland at different points in time (e.g., impact analysis or mitigation success).
assessment team

(A - Team):

An interdisciplinary group of regional and local scientists responsible for classification of wetlands within a region, identification of Reference Wetlands, construction of assessment models, definition of reference standards, and calibration of assessment models.
assessment: The objective task of identifying actions, taking measurements of baseline condition, and predicting changes to the baseline conditions as a result of the actions that occur.
available water holding capacity: The capacity of soils to hold water available for use by most plants. It is commmonly defined as the difference between the amount of soil water at field moisture capacity and the amount at wilting point. It is commonly expressed as inches of water per inch of soil. The capacity, in inches, in a 60-inch profile or to a limiting layer is expressed as:

Very Low 0 to3

Low 3 to 6

Moderate 6 to 9

High 9 to 12

Very High more than 12

 

best professional judgement: The process of making decisions based on personal experience and knowledge when better information is available. Best professional judgement is often used in day-to-day management decisions related to wetlands.
Biodiversity: The total species composition of an area.
Biogeochemical: The interaction and integration of biological and geochemical cycles.
Biotic: Term applied to living entities or processes.
burial: The transfer of material, usually organic matter, from the surface of an ecosystem to a position within the litter and/or soil. Burial can be a completely physical process (e.g., sediment falls on top of material) or it can be an active process in which material is moved downward by the action of animals.
C4 plants: Vascular spermatophytes morphologically and physiologically adapted to high light intensities, high temperature, and dryness through the efficient use of CO2 and minimized loss of water.
Capacity: See functional capacity.
catchment: A term primarily from the European literature similar to watershed except that watersheds normally do not include large lakes. Catchments include all of the land upstream to a divide which potentially directs precipitation to the point of outflow from the catchment.
clay As a soil separate, the mineral soil particles less than 0.002 mm in diameter. As a soil textural class, soilmaterial that is 40% or more clay, less than 45% sand, and less than 40% silt.
compaction: Increasing the bulk density of wetland soils through impact, trampling, machinery, etc. Results in altered activity by microbes and soil fungus, interferes with nutrient availability, and alters wetland hydrology.
conductivity: See specific conductance and hydraulic conductivity.
conservation tillage An agricultural practice designed to minimize soil and associated nutrients and agri-chemical losses. Focus is on zero or reduced tillage to maintain a soil cover of crop residue. The term is not tied to an implement or tillage tool, but to surface crop residue.
creation: Designing and developing an ecosystem in a location where it did not previously exist.
decomposition: The more or less permanent breakdown of a molecule into simpler molecules or atoms. In wetlands, organic matter is broken down by physical, biological, and chemical process.
degradation: Causing a partial loss of functional capability in an ecosystem. See conversion.
denitrification: The microbially mediated heterotrophic process of converting nitrate or nitrite to either nitrous oxide or dinitrogen gas, or alternatively, the bacterial conversion of inorganic nitrate nitrogen to di-nitrogen (N2) gas.
depressional wetland: A wetland geomorphic setting which occurs in depressions, but usually at the headwaters of a local drainage. Consequently,

surface flows are restricted.

detritus: Organic matter undergoing decomposition, with the attendant protists, protozoans, and other organisms that serve as food for detritus feeders.
direct impact: Project impacts that result from direct physical alteration of a wetland such as the placement of dredge or fill.
direct measure: A quantitative measure of an assessment model variable.
direct precipitation: Water that falls directly into a lake or stream without passing through any land phase portion of the runoff cycle.
duration: see persistence
enhancement: Increasing the number of different functions performed by a wetland, or increasing the ability of an existing wetland to perform specific functions.
Ephemeral Overland flow/surface water is present for hours to days after a precipitation event. See intermittently flooded as defined by Cowardin et al. 1979.
evaluation: The subjective application of human values to determine the significance of the effects of actions on the affected parties.
evaporation: The process by which water passes from the liquid to the vapor state.
 

evapotranspiration:

The loss of water from vegetation as a result of evaporation and transpiration expressed in the same units as precipitation, or the sum of evaporation and transpiration.
field capacity: The maximum amount of water that the unsaturated zone of a soil can hold against the pull of gravity. Field capacity is dependent on the length of time the soil has been undergoing gravity drainage. Usually considered to be the water content of a soil at 1/3-bar suction or negative pressure.
function (cosystem): Processes that are necessary for the self-maintenance of an ecosystem such as primary production, nutrient cycling, decomposition, etc. The term is used primarily as a distinction from values. The term values is associated with society's perception of ecosystem functions. Functions occur in ecosystems regardless of whether or not they have values.

 

function context area (FCA): The area that influences, or is influenced by, a wetland function. The Function Context Area can include aquatic and upland systems adjacent to the wetland.
functional assessment: The process by which the capacity of a wetland to perform a function is measured. This approach measures capacity using an assessment model to determine a functional capacity index.
functional capacity index (FCI): An index of the capacity of wetland to perform a function relative to other wetlands from a regional wetland subclass in a reference domain. Functional capacity indices are by definition scaled from 0.0 to 1.0. An index of 1.0 indicates that the wetland performs a function at the highest sustainable functional capacity, the level equivalent to a wetland under reference standard conditions in a reference domain. An index of 0.0 indicates the wetland does not perform the function at a measurable level, and will not recover the capacity to perform the function through natural processes.
functional capacity unit (FCU): Calculation reached by multiplying the functional capacity index for a wetland area by the size of the wetland area.
functional capacity: The rate or magnitude at which a wetland ecosystem performs a function. Functional capacity is dictated by characteristics of the wetland ecosystem and the surrounding landscape, and interaction between the two.
functional profile: 1) Qualitative and quantitative descriptive depictions of wetlands that, in the case of the hydrogeomorphic classification, emphasizes the physical characteristics such as geomorphic setting, water source, and hydrodynamics. Profiles also may include the biotic components. 2) Narrative or quantitative description of significant factors such as water source, hydrodynamics, vegetation, and soils that affect how a wetland functions.
geomorphic setting: The location of a landscape, such as stream headwater locations, valley bottom depression, and coastal position.
geomorphic: A term that refers to the shape of the land surface.
geomorphology: The study of the parameters that describe the physical nature of a watershed.
ground water perched: See perched ground water
ground water recharge: The movement of water from the surface of the earth to an aquifer.

 

ground water: Water occurring in the subsurface voids, pore spaces, or fissures of the earth, as opposed to water occurring above the surface of the earth in streams, ponds, lakes, and in the ocean. The water contained in the interconnected pores located below the water table in an unconfined aquifer or located in a confined aquifer.
high water table (seasonal)  

 

highest sustainable functional capacity: The level of functional capacity achieved across the suite of functions by a wetland under reference standard conditions in a reference domain. This approach assumes that the highest sustainable functional capacity is achieved when a wetland ecosystem and the surrounding landscape are undisturbed.
horizon, soil A layer of soil, approximately parallel to the surface, having distinct characteristics produced by soil-forming processes. In the identification of soil horizons, an uppercase letter represents the major horizons. Numbers of lowercase letters that follow represent subdivision of the major horizons.
humus: The amorphous, ordinarily dark-colored, collodial matter in soil; a complex of the fractions of organic matter of plant, animal, and microbial origin that are most resistant to decomposition.
hydraulic conductivity: A coefficient of proportionality describing the rate at which water can move through a permeable medium. The density and knematic viscosity of the water must be considered in determining hydraulic conductivity.
hydraulic gradient: The change in total head with a change in distance in a given directional. The direction is that which yields a maximum rate of decrease in head.
hydraulic head: See total head
hydric soil: Soil that is wet long enough to periodically produce an anaerobic condition, thereby influencing the growth and reproduction of plants.
hydrodynamics: The capacity of water to do work such as transport sediments, erode soils, and flush pore waters in sediments as a result of its vertical, unidirectional and horizontal, or bidirectional and horizontal motion. Vertical motion results from evapotranspiration and precipitation, bidirectional flows result from astronomic tides and seiches, and unidirectional flows result from the pull of gravity on surface water in streams and on the surface of the earth.
hydrogeologic unit: A portion of the landscape that has a distinct surface and ground water composition.
hydrogeology: The study of the interrelationships of geologic materials and processes with water, particularly ground water .

 

hydrogeomorphic class: A class of wetlands in the classification scheme developed for use with HGM procedures. Each class has similar hydrogeomorphic characteristics.
hydrogeomorphic unit: Hydrogeomarphic units are areas within a wetland assessment area that are relatively homogenous with respect to ecosystem scale characteristics such as microtopography, soil type, vegetative communities, or other factors that influence function. Hydrogeomorphic units may be the result of natural or anthropogenic processes. See Partial Wetland Assessment Area.
hydrogeomorphic wetland class: The highest level in the hydrogeomorphic wetland classification. There are five basic hydrogeomorphic wetland classes including depression, fringe, slope, riverine, and flat.
hydrogeomorphic wetland type: Wetlands with a similar geomorphic setting, source of water, and hydrodynamics.
hydrograph: 1) A graphic description of hydrologic stage discharge or storage over time. 2) A graph that shows some property of ground water or surface water as a function of time.
hydrology: The study of the occurrence, distribution, and movement of all waters of the earth.
hydroperiod: The depth, duration, seasonality, and frequency of flooding. In its simplest form, it refers to the time period of inundation of the land surface.
 

hydrophilic:

Adapted to and tolerant of water.
hydrophyte: 1) A plant adapted to grow and reproduce in standing water or on saturated soils characterized by a periodic oxygen deficit as a result of excessive water. 2) A type of plant that grows with the root system submerged in standing water.
impact: a human action that either by design or oversight alters the characteristics of an ecosystem.
indicator: Indicators are observable characteristics that correspond to identifiable variable conditions in a wetland or the surrounding landscape.
indirect impact: Impacts resulting from project activities that indirectly affect the physical, chemical, or biological integrity of a wetland. Indirect impacts typically occur in association with direct impacts, but are usually separated from them in time and space. An example would be the impacts of increased human activity at a marina on wildlife habitat in a nearby wetland.
infiltration capacity: The maximum rate at which infiltration can occur under specific conditions of soil moisture. For a given soil, the infiltration capacity is a function of the water content.

 

infiltration: The movement of water from the surface into the soil. Infiltrated water percolates vertically through the unsaturated zone, or moves horizontally as throughflow.
in-kind mitigation: Mitigation in which lost functional capacity is replaced in a wetland of the same regional wetland subclass.
interception: The interception of precipitation by vegetation before it reaches the ground surface. The process by which precipitation is captured on the surface of vegetation before it reaches the ground surface.
interflow The lateral movement of water in the unsaturated zone during or immediatedly after a precipitation event. The water moving as interflow discharges directly into a lake or stream. See throughflow.
Intermittent or "Intermittently Flooded" "The substrate is usually exposed, but surface water is present for variable periods without detectable seasonal periodicity. Weeks, months, or even years may intervene between periods of inundation. The dominant plant communities under this regime may change as soil moisture conditions change. Some areas exhibiting this regime do not fall within our [the] definition of wetland because they do not have hydric soils or support hydrophytes" (Cowardin et al., 1979).
inundation: The condition of water occurring above the surface, i.e., flooding.
isolated wetland: Wetland isolated from the surrounding landscape with respect to the exchange of surface water.
jurisdictional wetland: Wetlands which meet the soil, vegetation, and hydrologic criteria laid out in the 'Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual', or its successor.
lacustrine: Related to lake or pond environments. Wetlands that occur on the margins of lakes or ponds. Comment: this term is closely associated with the Cowardin system, and their definition should be used rather than the above.
landform: Any large-scale, distinctive landscape feature and some very special relief features are landforms. The most important landforms are mountains, plains, and plateaus.
landscape: 1) A heterogeneous land area composed of a cluster of interacting ecosystems that is repeated in a similar form through. 2) All distinct spatial units of an area, usually at the watershed level or larger. Its gross features of the land surface, including but not limited to slope, aspect, topographic variation, and position relative to other land forms.
life form, plant: The general morphologic category of plants, such as tree, shrub, herbaceous, etc.
lithology: Term referring to the composition of the earth's crust. Soils develop as a consequence of weathering of the parent material.
litter: Recently fallen plant material which is only partially decomposed and in which the organs of the plant are still discernible; forming a surface layer on some soils.
loading Process of adding excess amounts of material, nutrients, toxins, etc. to wetlands. Results in the loss or significant reduction in some ecological functions.
loam Soil material that is 7 to 27% clay.
maintenance: The upkeep of functions and processes in wetlands.
Microtopographic Variation Small scale variations in surface elevation/relief (e.g., pit and mound or hummock and hollow topography, coarse woody debris, root masses etc.) that provide roughness (i.e., friction or resistance to flow) which reduces or transforms the velocity/kinetic energy associated with flowing water.
mineral soil: Soil composed of primarily mineral materials as opposed to organic materials.
minimal effect exemption: A decision to allow an action to occur even through it would result in more than a minimal impact on a wetland.
mitigation plan: A plan for replacing lost functional capacity resulting from project impacts.
mitigation ratio: The ratio of the FCUs lost in a Wetland Assessment Area (WAA) to the FCUs gained in a mitigation wetland.
mitigation wetland: A restored or created wetland that serves to replace functional capacity lost as a result of project impacts.
mitigation, in-kind: See in-kind mitigation
mitigation, out-of-kind: See out-of-kind mitigation

 

mitigation: Restoration or creation of a wetland to replace functional capacity that is lost as a result of project impacts.
model calibration: The process of parameter estimation based on known data.
model variable: see Assessment Model.
model verification: The process of comparing parameter estimates against a new set of data after model has been calibrated.
mottling, soil Irregular spots of different colors that vary in number and size. Mottling generally indicates poor aeration and impeded drainage.
National Wetland Inventory (NWI): A Fish and Wildlife Service program designed to map and inventory wetlands of the United States.
nitrate: The most oxidized form of nitrogen which can be used as an alternate electron acceptor in anaerobic respiration.
nitrification: The microbial transformation from ammonium to nitrite and from nitrite to nitrate. It is an energy-yielding aerobic process.
nonpoint source: Nutrients or contaminants that enter wetland and aquatic ecosystems across a wide expanse in contrast to a point source of entering from a discrete point. Common non-point sources are agricultural and urban landscapes.
off-site mitigation: Mitigation that is done at a location physically separated from the site at which the original impacts occurred, possibly in another watershed.
ombrotrophic: Term referring to low nutrient conditions which usually implies that the dominant source of water to the wetland is direct precipitation.
ordinary high water mark: ". . . that line on the shore established by the fluctuation of water and indicated by physical characteristics such as clear natural line impressed on the bank, shelving, changes in the character of soil, destruction of terrestrial vegetation, the presence of litter and debris, or other appropriate means that consider the characteristics of the surrounding area" (33 CFR Part 328, Section 328.3 (a)(7)(e)).
out-of-kind mitigation: Mitigation in which lost function capacity is replaced in a wetland of a different regional wetland subclass.
overland flow: The flow of water over a land surface due to direct precipitation. Overland flow generally occurs when the precipitation rate exceeds the infiltration capacity of the soil and depression storage is full.
oxidation-reduction: See reduction-oxidation.
particle size classification: Classification of particles into size classes according to the American Geophysical Union Subcommittee on Sediment Terminology.

Clay 0.00024 - 0.004mm

Silt 0.004 - 0.062 mm

Sand 0.062 - 2.0 mm

Gravel 2.0 - 64.0 mm

particle size: The diameter, in millimeters, of a particle determined by either sieve or sedimentation methods.
particulate organic carbon (POC): The fraction of total organic carbon that is retained by a 0.45 micron filter.
pedon: A small three dimensional sample of soil large enough (1 to 10 sq. meters) so that the nature of it’s horizons can be studied.
perched aquifer: A region in the unsaturated zone where soil may be locally saturated because it overlies a low permeability unit.
perched ground water: The water in an isolated, saturated zone located in the zone of aeration. It is the result of the presence of a layer of material of low hydraulic conductivity called a perching bed. Perched ground water will have a perched water table.
perched water table Water standing above an unsaturated zone in the soil.
percolation: The vertical movement of water through the unsaturated zone subsequent to infiltration.
Perennial or "Permanently Flooded" "Water covers the land surface throughout the year in all years. Vegetation is composed of obligate hydrophytes" (Cowardin et al. 1979).
permanent wetland Pond and lake that has a central open-water zone that is typically surrounded by deep marsh, shallow marsh, wet meadow and low prairie zones. These wetlands contain water year round except during extensive droughts.
permeability: The capacity of a porous medium to accommodate the flow of fluids. Coefficients of permeability along with the piezometric gradient, allow flow to be calculated.
persistence (duration): The length of time that something, e.g. water, is present or time period over which it occurs.
piezometer: A nonpumping well, generally of smaller diameter, that is used to measure the elevation of the water table or potentiometric surface.
planned wetland: Any intended land alteration which results in a net gain of wetland function performance.
plant life form: The general morphologic category of plants, such as tree, shrub, herbaceous, etc.
playa lakes: Shallow depressions similar to prairie potholes, but abundant on the Southern High Plains and south of the Canadian River Texas and New Mexico. They undergo annual and multiyear cycles with respect to water level fluctuation.
pore space: The volume between mineral grains in a porous medium.
pore water pressure:  

 

porewater: Water that fills the pores, voids, and interstices of the soil.
porosity: The ratio of the volume of void spaces in a rock or soil to the total volume of the rock or soil.
potential evapotranspiration (PET): The amount of water that would be lost by evapotranspiration by the natural vegetation of an area if water were never limiting during the year.
potential evapotranspiration ratio (PET ratio): The ratio between the potential evapotranspiration and actual precipitation. Ratios greater than 1.0 indicate a water deficit.
prairie pothole: Depressional wetlands in the upper Midwestern states and the plain provinces of Canada.
precipitation, direct: Precipitation, throughfall, or stemflow that falls directly, or indirectly onto a specified portion of the landscape.
precipitation: Any form of water originating in atmosphere that falls onto the surface of the earth.
propagules: Reproductive structures such as the seeds or vegetative cuttings from plants.
recharge area: An area in which there are the downward components of hydraulic head in the aquifer. Infiltration moves downward into the deeper parts of an aquifer in a recharge area.
recharge wetland Wetland that recharges groundwater within its basin (e.g. watershed).
recharge: Water that infiltrates to an aquifer, usually from above.
red flag features: Features of a wetland or the surrounding landscape to which special recognition or protection is assigned on the basis or objective criteria. The recognition or protection may occur at a federal, state, regional, or local level, and may be official or unofficial.
redox: See reduction-oxidation.
reduction-oxidation: The potential difference, usually expressed in millivolts, between a platinum electrode and a reference electrode in a solution. The scale is especially useful for sediments that are devoid of oxygen because it allows an expression of reducing conditions beyond the scale of oxygen.
reference domain: All wetlands within a defined geographic region that belong to a single hydrogeomorphic subclass.
reference standards: Conditions exhibited by a group of reference wetlands that correspond to the highest level of functioning (highest sustainable capacity) across the suite of functions of the subclass. By definition, highest levels of functioning are assigned an index of 1.0.
reference wetlands: Wetland sites within the Reference Domain that encompass the known variation of the subclass. They are used to establish the ranges of functions.
reference: The term reference in the context of functional assessment is used as a basis for comparing two or more wetlands of the same subclass. The principle of reference is useful because (1) everyone uses the same standard of comparison, and (2) relative rather than absolute measures allow better resolution, efficiency in time, and consistency in measurements.
region: A geographic areas that is relatively homogenous with respect to large scale factors such as climate and geology that may influence how wetlands function.
 

regional wetland subclass:

Wetlands within a region that are similar based on hydrogeomorphic classification factors. There may be more than one regional wetland subclass identified within each hydromorphic wetland class depending on the diversity of wetlands in a region, and assessment objectives.
restoration: 1) Returning a modified ecosystem to its premodification condition. For example, restoring a tidal connection to a saltmarsh isolated by road construction. 2) Taking a former wetland area that had performed wetland functions or is now performing few functions and altering conditions so that it performs most of its natural (pre-disturbance) conditions.
return flow: Refers to excess water that is not used by plants or taken up by wetland soils. This water usually returns to streams by overland flow.
return interval: Interval of time corresponding to the return of water to the wetland surface.
return period: The average time interval between occurrences of a hydrologic event of a certain magnitude or greater. Usually expressed in years (e.g., 2-year flood event).
rhizomes: A horizontal, usually, underground stem that often sends out roots and shoots.
root zone: The zone from the land surface to the depth penetrated by plant roots.
Roughness Macro/microtopographic features, vegetative characteristics (i.e., stem densities, basal area, percent cover etc.), and soil/bedload attributes of the channel banks, channel bed, and floodplain surface which exert resistance or drag on flowing water. Mannings equation and the Chezy formula are engineering equations that attempt to express or quantify the resistance factor(s) encountered by flowing water.
runoff: The amount of water that flows from an area of land after ET, storage, and deep seepage have been removed. This term is synonymous with overland flow.
saline soil A soil containing soluble salts in an amount that impairs growth of plants. A saline soil does not contain excess exchangeable sodium.
saline wetlands Wetlands with soils that have a total dissolved soils or water column concentration of >0.5 ppt. Wetlands typically fall into five salinity classes (oligohaline, mesosaline, polysaline, eusaline, hypersaline.
saline: Term applied to water containing greater than 0.5 ppt of land derived salts.
 

saturated zone:

1) The zone in which the voids in the rock or soil are filled with water at a pressure greater than atmospheric. The water table is the top of the saturated zone in an unconfined aquifer. 2) Regions below the land surface in which all pore space is filled with water.
Seasonal or "Seasonally Flooded" "Surface water is present for extended periods especially early in the growing season, but is absent by the end of the season in most years. When surface water is absent, the water table is often near the land surface" (Cowardin et al. 1979).
seasonal wetlands Wetlands that flood in early spring and dry by mid-summer. In the Prairie Pothole Region, these types of wetland receive high use by dabbling ducks.
sediment, suspended: Sediments held in suspension by the upward components of turbulent currents or that exist in suspension as colloidal material.
sediment: The solid material transported by, suspended in, or deposited from water. It includes chemical and biochemical precipitates and decomposed organic material such as humus, or alternatively, an assemblage of individual mineral grains that were deposited by some geological agent such as water, wind, ice, or gravity.
semiconfined aquifer: An aquifer confined by a low permeability layer that permits water to slowly flow through it.
 

semi-permanent wetland

In the Prairie Pothole Region these wetlands have a central deep marsh zone that is surrounded by shallow marsh, wet meadow, and low prairie zones. They typically will remain wet in the central zone during the dry season.
seven day low flow (7Q10): The discharge at the 10-year recurrence interval taken from a frequency curve of annual values of the lowest mean discharge for 7 consecutive days.
sheetflow: See overland flow.
shore: Vegetated and non-vegetated substrate located channelward of a bank.
silt As a soil separate, individual mineral particles that range in diameter from the upper limit of clay (0.002 mm) to the lower level of very fine sand (0.05 mm). As a soil textural class, soil that is 80% or more silt and less than 12% clay.
sink: A net retention of nutrients, sediments, or water by a wetland. Inputs are greater than outputs.
site potential: The highest level of functioning possible given local constraints of disturbance history, land use, or other factors. Site potential may be equal to or less than levels of functioning established by Reference Standards.
site specific: Refers to a location associated with a specific wetland function, structural attribute, etc.
slope The inclination of the land surface from the horizontal. Percentage of slope is the vertical distance divided by horizontal distance, then multiplied by 100. Thus, a slope of 20% is a drop of 20 feet in 100 feet of horizontal distance.
slope wetland: Slope wetlands grade into the flat below where the slope becomes negligible. Hillside seeps or springs are good examples of slope wetlands.
soil depth The distance from the top of the soil to the underlying bedrock.
soil horizon: A layer of soil that is distinguishable from adjacent layers by characteristic physical properties such as structure, color, or texture, or by chemical composition, including content of organic matter or degree of acidity or alkalinity. Soil horizons are generally designated by a capital letter, with or without a numerical annotation.
soil series: The basic unit of soil classification being a subdivision of a family and consisting of ions dissociated from the surfaces of the soil particles and of other soluble materials.
soil: Freely divided rock-derived material containing an admixture of organic matter and capable of supporting vegetation.
solute: Any substance dissolved in water.
sorption: A general term to encompass processes of adsorption, absorption, desorption, ion exchange, ion exclusion, ion retardation, chemisorption, and dialysis.
source: The place of origin of material such as water, and nutrients. In a wetland context, the wetland can be the source of materials to adjacent ecosystems or materials can move into the wetland from other areas (i.e., sources).
stratigraphy: The vertical layering of sediments or other materials often as a consequence of the chronological sequence in which they were deposited.
subsoil Technically, the B hoison; roughly, the part of the solum below plow depth.
subsurface drainage See subsurface flow. The movement of subsurface water can be natural or influenced by man’s activities (i.e., drain tiles).
 

subsurface flow:

See throughflow and interflow.
subsurface storage: Water that is present below the soil surface.
succession: The predictable and orderly change in biotic and abiotic characteristics of a community or ecosystem in a particular location over time.
surface water: Water above the surface of the land, in contrast to ground water that is below the surface of the land.
surficial aquifer: An unconfined aquifer near the surface of the land.
temporary wetlands In the Prairie Pothole Region, these wetlands have a central wet meadow zone surrounded, at times, by a low prairie zone. Typically, they will dry in the early summer. They provide important bird habitat as feeding and resting sites, particularly following snow melt.
throughflow: 1) The lateral movement of water in an unsaturated zone during and immediately after a precipitation event. The water from throughflow seeps out at the base of slopes and then flows across the ground surface as return flow ultimately reaching a stream of lake. See interflow. 2) Water that infiltrates into the soil on a slope and subsequently emerges as seepage at the foot of the slope, as opposed to interflow which enters directly into a stream.
topographic: A term referring to the slope and elevation of land.
transformation: The process of converting a material (nutrient, etc.) from one form to another. Examples would be particulate organic carbon to dissolved organic nitrogen, organic nitrogen, organic nitrogen to ammonia.
transpiration: The process by which plants give off water vapor through their leaves.
turbidity: Cloudiness in water due to suspended and colloidal organic and inorganic material.
unconfined aquifer: A permeable body of rock/soil in which groundwater moves freely.
unconfined ground water: The water in an aquifer where there is a water table.
unsaturated zone: 1) The zone between the land surface and the water table that includes the root zone, intermediate zone and capillary fringe. The pore spaces contain water at less than atmospheric pressure, as well as air and other gases. Saturated bodies, such as perched ground water, may exist in the unsaturated zone.
upland: The land upslope from a wetland.
valuation: The process of assigning significance criteria to values.
value of Wetland Function(s): The relative importance of wetland function, or functions, to an individual or group.
values: The rules that determine what people consider important. It can be measured by what motivates people into activity.
variable condition: The condition of a variable as determined through quantitative or qualitative measures.
variable index: A measure of how an assessment model variable in a wetland compares to the reference standards of a regional wetland subclass in a reference domain.
variable: An attribute or characteristic of a wetland ecosystem or the surrounding landscape that influences the capacity of wetland to perform a function.
vertical fluctuations: The movement of water upward and downward in the soil profile.

 

viscosity: The property of a fluid describing its resistance to flow. Units of viscosity are newt-seconds per meter squared or pascal-seconds.
water budget: An evaluation of all sources of supply and the corresponding discharges with respect to an aquifer or a drainage basin.
water quality: Description or quantitative conditions of water, usually in reference to physical, chemical, and biological properties, and usually from the perspective of society's use.
water source: The place of origin of water that enters a wetland. Examples would be rainfall (precipitation), streams, lakes, ground water, and oceans.
 

water stress:

A water deficit condition of plants that are losing water by transpiration faster than they can take up water through their roots.
water table: The surface in an unconfined aquifer or confining bed at which the pore water pressure is atmospheric. It can be measured by installing shallow wells extending a few feet into the zone of saturation and then measuring the water level in those wells.
water year: The twelve month period from October 1 through September 30. Water year is designated by the calendar year in which the water year ends, and which includes 9 of the 12 months. For example, the water year ending September 30, 1980 is called "1980 water year".
watershed: The area of land from which surface water drains to a single outlet.
wetland assessment area (WAA): The wetland area to which results of an assessment are applied.

 

wetland banking: The process of creating a "bank" of created, enhances, or restored wetland to serve at a future date as mitigation for project impacts.
wetland conversion: See conversion.
wetland creation: See creation.
wetland ecosystem: In 404 ".....areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas" (Corps Regulation 33 CFR 328.3 and EPA Regulations 40 CFR 230.0). In a more general sense, wetland ecosystems are three dimensional segments of the natural world where the presence of water, at or near the surface, creates conditions leading to the development of redoxomorphic soil conditions, and the presence of a flora and fauna adapted to the permanently or periodically flooded or saturated conditions.
wetland enhancement: The process of increasing the capacity of a wetland to perform on, or more functions. Wetland enhancement can increase functional capacity to levels greater than the highest sustainable functional capacity achieved under reference standard conditions, but usually at the expense of sustainability, or a reduction of functional capacity of other functions. Wetland enhancement is typically done for mitigation.
wetland function: The normal activities or actions that occur in wetland ecosystems, or simple, the things that wetlands do. Wetland functions result directly from the characteristics of a wetland ecosystem and the surrounding landscape, and their interaction.
wetland related: Processes, structures, etc. associated with wetlands.
wetland restoration: The process of restoring wetland function in a degraded wetland. Restoration is typically done as mitigation.
 

wetland:

1) "... those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal conditions do support, a prevalence of vegetation, typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas" (Corps Regulation 33 CFR 328.3 and EPA Regulations 40 CFR 230.3). 2) "... lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface of the land is covered by shallow water"
Wetting Phase Period during which late fall/winter rains gradually increase the degree of soil saturation above the restrictive layer. Soils reach field capacity and ponded water occurs where depressions intercept perched water tables or acculumlate surface runoff (specific to the Borden Ranch).
wilting point: The soil moisture content below which plants are unable to withdraw soil moisture.
xerophyte: A plant that maintains is existence in an area of minimal water by virtue of an extensive shallow root system.
zone of aeration: See unsaturated zone.
zone of saturation: See saturated zone.

Exhibit G

INDEX (value for example based on "WI")

F1 HYDROLOGIC REGIME = [V{mod} + V{sed} + V{sored} + (V{soadd} + V{upuse} + V{wetuse}) /6

(for depressional wetlands that have significant storage from surface throughflows) = [(V{mod} + V{sed} + V{sored} + V{soadd} + V{upuse} + V{wetuse}) + (V{detritus} + V{micro} + V{pden})/3] / 6

F2 ELEMENTAL CYCLING (closed) = [((V{buffcon} +V{buffwid} / 2) + V{mod} + V{pden} + V{pore} + V{sed}+ V{wetuse}] / 6

F3 REMOVAL OF IMPORTED ELEMENTS

AND COMPOUNDS (throughflow)= [ ((V{buffcon} + V{buffwid}) / 2) + V{mod} + V{pore} + V{sed} + V{wetuse}) + (V{detritus} + V{micro} + V{pden})/3] / 6

F4 PARTICULATE RETENTION

(with an outlet - throughflow [(V{sed} + V{upuse} + V{wetuse}) / 3) x V{mod}]1/2

(no outlet / closed) [(V{sed} + V{upuse}) / 2) x V{mod})]/2

F5 EXPORTS ORGANIC CARBON (requires throughflow - must have natural outlet)

AND DETRITUS = [V{mod} x (((V{buffcon} + V{buffwid}) / 2) + V{wetuse} + ((V{detritus} + V{micro} + V{pden})/3] / 3

F6 MAINTAINS CHARACTERISTIC

PLANT COMMUNITY = [V{canopy} + V{micro} + V{mod} + V{pden + V{pratio} + V{sed} + V{wetuse}] / 7

F7 MAINTAIN HABITAT STRUCTURE

WITHIN WETLAND = [((((V{buffcon} + V{buffwid}) / 2) + V{canopy} + V{pden} + V{pratio} + ((V{ sed} + V{upuse} + V{wetuse})/3] / 5

F8 MAINTAIN FOOD WEBS [((V{buffcon} + V{buffwid}) / 2) + V{detritus} + V{landsp} + V{pratio} + V{ sed} + V{upuse} + V{wetuse}] / 7

F9 MAINTAINS HABITAT INTER-

SPERSION AND CONNECTIVITY

AMONG WETLANDS [F7 + V{landsp} + V{pden}] / 3    

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