You are here: Home / Research Topics / Research Highlights / Individual Highlight

Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

What do we need to know to conserve wetlands on working lands in the South

Photo of Riparian wetland restoration in progress, with planted cypress trees. Forest ServiceRiparian wetland restoration in progress, with planted cypress trees. Forest ServiceSnapshot : The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) is a multi-agency effort to improve effectiveness of Farm Bill conservation programs by quantifying the environmental benefits of conservation practices applied on working lands in the United States, these practices often used specifically to recover valuable wetland ecosystem services. Southern Research Station (SRS) Scientist Diane De Steven led a collaborative research synthesis that identified fundamental information gaps regarding wetland conservation practices in the Southeast.

Principal Investigators(s) :
DeSteven, Diane 
Research Location : U.S. Southern Piedmont and Coastal Plain
Research Station : Southern Research Station (SRS)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 423


Led by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, CEAP conducts nationwide assessments to quantify the effectiveness of conservation practices applied in agricultural landscapes. The CEAP-Wetlands group specifically evaluates practices that protect or restore wetland ecosystem services such as water-quality improvement, floodwater storage, and wildlife habitat. As part of a CEAP effort, multiple research partners produced seven regional reviews and a cross-region analysis that were published as a Special Issue of the journal Ecological Applications.

SRS scientist Diane De Steven and USDA-ARS scientist Richard Lowrance led the mid-Atlantic/Southeastern Coastal Plain review, which examined current evidence for practice effectiveness and highlighted research needs for the region. The collaborators found that the nature and outcomes of wetland restoration practices on most Southeastern program lands were undocumented, and they identified a critical need to incorporate wetland types as a component of assessing ecosystem services. The scientists' review resulted in new CEAP funding to the SRS for a research study that will analyze wetland restoration practices across several Southern states. The findings will improve conservation planning, project outcomes, and monitoring of wetlands-related practices and programs for working lands in the South and elsewhere.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ecological Society of America