TOWARD A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF HYDROLOGIC CONTROLS ON MOUNTAIN WETLANDS IN THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS
There has been some historical debate as to whether southern Appalachian wetlands should be classified as fens or bogs. Initial observations at several sites suggest topographic depressions are fed by a combination of precipitation, groundwater discharge, and stormwater/stream surge. The ratio varies from site to site, and ongoing research is being conducted in an attempt to quantify the relative significance of each. This presentation will focus on three sites being considered for the wildlife refuge to illustrate how a better understanding of the hydrologic controls on mountain wetlands will be essential to effective management in the future.