Water Quality Data for Restored and Natural Wetlands in the St Lawrence River valley of NY

Published: 28 May 2021| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/m7dycy7gt6.2
Michael Twiss


Wetland sampling for water quality was conducted on 17 natural wetlands and 45 restored wetlands over a four-week period (25-July-2014 to 25-August-2014). Twelve (12) physicochemical and biological state variables were measured: total chlorophyll-a; phytoplankton community (pigment-specific fluorometry); fecal coliform bacteria; dissolved nitrate, sulfate, and chloride; colored dissolved organic matter; turbidity; pH; alkalinity; specific conductivity; and total phosphorus.


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Grab samples (one liter) were collected in acid-clean polycarbonate bottles from the surface water present in each wetland, stored cool in the dark, and processed that day. Wetlands sampled on a given day based on the logistics of travel; sampling was avoided after heavy rainfall by going into the field minimally 3 days after a thunderstorm in the area. We measured 12 physicochemical and biological state variables: total chlorophyll-a (acetone extraction and quantification by fluorometry; Welschmeyer, 1994); phytoplankton community (pigment-specific fluorometry); fecal coliform bacteria (Petri-Film; 3M Corp.); dissolved nitrate, sulfate, and chloride by ion exchange chromatography; colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) by fluorometry (TD-700 using Suwanee River fulvic acid reference material (International Humic Substances Society); turbidity by absorbance at 500 nm in a 5 cm path length cuvette; pH by potentiometry, and alkalinity by Gran titration using HCl; specific conductivity was measured using an electronic meter (YSI model 600XL); and total phosphorus (TP) by colorimetry following persulfate digestion at 121°C (Wetzel and Likens, 2000. Dissolved solutes were measured after filtration through a 0.2-µm polyether sulfone membrane syringe filter (Whatman). All measurements were made using standard limnological and analytical methods. Water temperature and dissolved oxygen were not measured due to their inherent high magnitude of diel variation in wetlands. The phytoplankton community composition was assessed using the FluoroProbe (bbe Moldaenke, GmbH), an instrument capable of classifying the community into four major phytoplankton groupings based on pigment content (Kring et al., 2016). Each sample was corrected for background fluorescence using water filtered through 0.2-µm pore-size syringe filters prior to evaluating the non-filtered sample.


Clarkson University Department of Biology


Wetlands, Limnology, Habitat Restoration