Southeastern Section - 68th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 17-15
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM-5:00 PM


MCDONALD, Nicole Jean, Department of Environmental Studies, Uiversity of North Carolina at Asheville, One University Heights, Asheville, NC 28804 and WILCOX, Jeffrey D., Department of Environmental Studies, University of North Carolina Asheville, One University Heights, CPO #2330, Asheville, NC 28804

Riverbend is a Southern Appalachian wetland that was purchased by the Nature Conservancy in 1982. The site is nutrient poor, fed by groundwater, and home to the federally endangered mountain sweet pitcher plant (Sarracenia rubra ssp. jonesii). While the pitcher plants survived--and even thrived--in a small corner of the site, their footprint has not expanded despite years of woody vegetation management and invasive treatment.

In 2013, data from monitoring wells and game cameras identified quick and large stormflow events through the wetland. The runoff, from a nearby pasture, has higher pH, total dissolved solids, and nitrate concentrations than in the portion of the bog where the pitcher clumps grew. With the influx of seeds and nutrients in stormwater from offsite, invasive species and woody vegetation that would not have been able to thrive in the nutrient-rich wetland were growing and limiting the success of the pitcher plants.

Hydrologic restoration efforts are now underway to decrease the detrimental effects of stormwater runoff from the surrounding farmlands. Funding from the Duke Energy coal ash spill settlement will be used to create storage depressions and bioretention swales to store, infiltrate, and treat the stormwater surges. This poster will describe hydrologic monitoring efforts before, during, and after the restoration to assess the impacts on stormflow, groundwater levels, water chemistry, and ultimately the effect on the pitcher plant population.