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Record ID: 235
Award(s): Excellence in Research Communication
Student Major: Biology
Project Advisor: Kenneth Petren
Abstract: Before European expansion, 1/5th of Ohio was wetlands. 90% of these wetlands have been destroyed or dried out to make way for human industry like agriculture, housing, and commercial use. Today, those three species and many more wetland inhabitants are threatened in the state. In Ohio, ¼ of all plant species, ½ of fish species, ⅔ of bird species, and ¾ of amphibian species listed as threatened or endangered are associated with wetlands. Wetlands play a critical role in water control and quality; the increase of impermeable surfaces from urbanization can cause more frequent and more powerful flooding events, which can be avoided by wetland and riparian zones acting as water storage. These areas also offer ecosystem services such as carbon and nutrient storage and sequestration. In Hamilton County, farmland now owned by Hamilton County Parks shows potential for wetlands restoration. Wetlands are delineated by the presence of a high-water table, hydric soil, and aquatic vegetation. To test for these qualities, we will run soil percolation tests, analyze nutrient characteristics of the soil, and conduct vegetation sampling in a known wetland area and compare that data to that taken at the potential site. A successful wetland restoration in Hamilton County would bolster biodiversity in the area, protect some of our valuable waterways, and reduce net carbon emissions.