Effect of stream proximity on percent-organic and inorganic carbon in a Southwestern Arizona wetland

Berg-Mattson, Noah
Wetland and riparian areas in the American Southwest comprise less than two percent of the land area while containing up to 19% of the endangered, threatened, or candidate species in the region. Despite their potential importance for conservation, little is known about the controls of desert wetland formation and persistence, information that would be vital to management and restoration strategies of this critical habitat. Percent-organic and inorganic carbon found in a transect of sediment cores from the Canelo Hills Ciénega were used to determine aspects of the temporal climate, environmental conditions, and stream position affecting wetland growth and development over the past ~3000 years. The difference between percent organics and percent inorganics can help portray a clearer history of these ciénegas and how their development from grassland to ciénegas and back may have occurred. Using this approach, the percent organics and percent inorganics were obtained by completing loss on ignition on eight cores from the Canelo Hills Ciénegas in Southwestern Arizona. The percent organics and percent inorganics were than compared to determine statistical difference in relation to stream proximity as well as depth.
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