Carbon and Phosphate tied up by aquatic and marginal plants...
Wetlands such as peatlands, freshwater ecosystems and estuarine habitats play a significant role in the North American carbon balance. While most of the North American wetland carbon is found in peatlands, aquatic and marginal plants in coastal and inland aquatic ecosystems such as tidal flats, marshes, rivers and lakes are also important due to their high vegetation productivity and the ability to fix large amounts of carbon, and remove pollutants and excess nutrients such as phosphates.
The St. Lawrence River drains the Great Lakes into the Atlantic Ocean. Its watershed (~680,000 km2) comprises several aquatic ecosystem types including fluvial, lacustrine, estuarine and marine. While the St. Lawrence River ecosystems are among the most biodiverse in Quebec, they are also under substantial anthropogenic pressures with over 90% of the population residing along the shores.
Using a combination of high resolution aerial and underwater mapping technologies, Fish + Forest seeks to determine the extent and biomass of Typha sp. marshes and Saggitaria sp. beds in the 1000 Islands region of the St. Lawrence River. Both are important contributors to the carbon storage and water quality of aquatic and marginal ecosystems in the St. Lawrence River.
Example of a 3D reconstruction of Typha sp. growing in freshwater from low altitude UAV videography.
Close-up view of the 3D Typha sp. reconstruction.