Presentation Title

Comparison of Road Salt Effects of a Swamp Ecosystems at 5m and 18m from the Road Side

Presentation Type

Poster

School

School of Sciences and Social Sciences

Discipline

Environmental Studies

Mentor

Renate Gebauer

Date & Time

April 9th at 4:15 PM - 5:30 PM

Location

L. P. Young Student Center, West Dining and Flag Room

Abstract

In New England road salt is commonly applied to roads which has potential impacts to nearby ecosystems. Our study focused on the effects of road salt along route 123 in Hancock, NH in Hillsborough County. We measured water conductivity at 5m and 18 m, and determined chlorophyll concentrations on 3 dominant plant species near the conductivity meters. We also collected leaf material to determine Na and N concentrations, along with 15N, and δ 13C. We found that both sites had high conductivity and that the conductivity was higher close to the road, indicating a large salt load. We also found that narrow-leaf cattail had the highest concentration of Na and chlorophyll concentrations than grass and red maple. Narrow-leaf cattail is a salt tolerant plant and is therefore able to tolerate the Na load within the swamp. The other physiological measures indicated however, that plant health of the other plant species was not significantly impacted by road salt.

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Apr 9th, 4:15 PM

Comparison of Road Salt Effects of a Swamp Ecosystems at 5m and 18m from the Road Side

L. P. Young Student Center, West Dining and Flag Room

In New England road salt is commonly applied to roads which has potential impacts to nearby ecosystems. Our study focused on the effects of road salt along route 123 in Hancock, NH in Hillsborough County. We measured water conductivity at 5m and 18 m, and determined chlorophyll concentrations on 3 dominant plant species near the conductivity meters. We also collected leaf material to determine Na and N concentrations, along with 15N, and δ 13C. We found that both sites had high conductivity and that the conductivity was higher close to the road, indicating a large salt load. We also found that narrow-leaf cattail had the highest concentration of Na and chlorophyll concentrations than grass and red maple. Narrow-leaf cattail is a salt tolerant plant and is therefore able to tolerate the Na load within the swamp. The other physiological measures indicated however, that plant health of the other plant species was not significantly impacted by road salt.