$24,995 Grant Awarded to Environmental Science Staff to Develop Restoration & Management Plans for Bergen Swamp

Andie Graham received funding from the Great Lakes Research Consortium to study the impact of invasive species in Bergen Swamp and to gather baseline data for management plans.

Andie Graham, Environmental Science & Ecology, received a grant from the Great Lakes Research Consortium (funded by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation) to study impacts of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and to gather baseline data on the Hemlock Wooly Adelgd (HWA) in order to develop management and restoration plans for EAB and to mitigate infestations of HWA.

Areas of Bergen Swamp near Black Creek are in the early stages of EAB invasion. This provides an opportunity to collect and compare hydrology and water chemistry data in invaded areas to non-invaded areas. In addition to EAB, invasions of HWA are moving towards the area. As no areas are yet infected with HWA, baseline data can be collected on hydrology, water chemistry, and vegetation prior to an invasion in order to discover methods to prevent an invasion. Both measures are important to preserving water quality at Black Creek.

Andie Graham and her co-PIs, Michael Chislock, Paul Richards, and an undergraduate researcher, will conduct vegetation and canopy surveys in areas of dense ash; four with evidence of an EAB invasion and four without. Insect surveys will be conducted to determine if EAB and HWA are in the area when they arrive (if not already present), and the level of infestation. Hydrology data will also be collected to determine the impact of the water budget of the swamp and height of the water table in invaded and non-invaded EAB areas, as well as baseline levels prior to HWA invasion. Water Chemistry analysis will be analyzed monthly to determine major nutrients, suspended sediments, and additional in situ water chemistry measures. All vegetation and canopy survey data, insect survey data, hydrology data, and water quality data will be collected and analyzed. The study findings will be used to inform ecosystem-based decision-making management plans and inform restoration plans and measures to prevent HWA infestations, specifically as it related to water quality in Black Creek. Further, results will be used to educate the public on the invasive species.

Courtney McDaniel from Piedmont College in Georgia and Bradley Mudrzynski from the Genesee County Soil Water and Conservation District are partners on this project and will assist with insect identification and water chemistry surveys.

The award will be administered by The Research Foundation for SUNY at SUNY Brockport

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Laura Merkl: lmerkl@brockport.edu

Posted: February 19, 2021