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Review

A Review of 50 Years of Study of Hydrology, Wetland Dynamics, Aquatic Metabolism, Water Quality and Trophic Status, and Nutrient Biogeochemistry in the Barataria Basin, Mississippi Delta—System Functioning, Human Impacts and Restoration Approaches

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Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
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Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science, Box 596, Clemson University, Georgetown, SC 29442, USA
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Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
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Comite Resources, PO Box 66596, Baton Rouge, LA 70896, USA
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Department of Biological Sciences, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA 70402, USA
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School of Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maria Mimikou
Water 2021, 13(5), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050642
Received: 21 January 2021 / Revised: 15 February 2021 / Accepted: 19 February 2021 / Published: 27 February 2021
Here we review an extensive series of studies of Barataria Basin, an economically and ecologically important coastal basin of the Mississippi Delta. Human activity has greatly altered the hydrology of the basin by decreasing riverine inflows from leveeing of the river and its distributaries, increasing runoff with high nutrient concentrations from agricultural fields, and channelization of wetlands of the basin interior that has altered flow paths to often bypass wetlands. This has resulted in degraded water quality in the upper basin and wetland loss in the lower basin. Trophic state analysis found the upper basin to be eutrophic and the lower basin to be mesotrophic. Gross aquatic primary production (GAPP) was highest in the upper basin, lowest in the mid basin, and intermediate in the lower basin. Forested wetlands in the upper basin have degraded over the past several decades due to increased periods of flooding, while there has been massive loss of emergent wetlands in the lower basin due to increasing water levels and pervasive alteration of hydrology. Restoration will entail reconnection of waterways with surrounding wetlands in the upper basin, and implementation of river sediment diversions, marsh creation using dredged sediments and barrier island restoration. Findings from this review are discussed in terms of the functioning of deltas globally. View Full-Text
Keywords: Barataria Basin; Mississippi Delta; trophic state; denitrification; eutrophication; forested wetlands; restoration Barataria Basin; Mississippi Delta; trophic state; denitrification; eutrophication; forested wetlands; restoration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Day, J.W.; Conner, W.H.; DeLaune, R.D.; Hopkinson, C.S.; Hunter, R.G.; Shaffer, G.P.; Kandalepas, D.; Keim, R.F.; Kemp, G.P.; Lane, R.R.; Rivera-Monroy, V.H.; Sasser, C.E.; R. White, J.; Vargas-Lopez, I.A. A Review of 50 Years of Study of Hydrology, Wetland Dynamics, Aquatic Metabolism, Water Quality and Trophic Status, and Nutrient Biogeochemistry in the Barataria Basin, Mississippi Delta—System Functioning, Human Impacts and Restoration Approaches. Water 2021, 13, 642. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050642

AMA Style

Day JW, Conner WH, DeLaune RD, Hopkinson CS, Hunter RG, Shaffer GP, Kandalepas D, Keim RF, Kemp GP, Lane RR, Rivera-Monroy VH, Sasser CE, R. White J, Vargas-Lopez IA. A Review of 50 Years of Study of Hydrology, Wetland Dynamics, Aquatic Metabolism, Water Quality and Trophic Status, and Nutrient Biogeochemistry in the Barataria Basin, Mississippi Delta—System Functioning, Human Impacts and Restoration Approaches. Water. 2021; 13(5):642. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050642

Chicago/Turabian Style

Day, John W., William H. Conner, Ronald D. DeLaune, Charles S. Hopkinson, Rachael G. Hunter, Gary P. Shaffer, Demetra Kandalepas, Richard F. Keim, G. P. Kemp, Robert R. Lane, Victor H. Rivera-Monroy, Charles E. Sasser, John R. White, and Ivan A. Vargas-Lopez. 2021. "A Review of 50 Years of Study of Hydrology, Wetland Dynamics, Aquatic Metabolism, Water Quality and Trophic Status, and Nutrient Biogeochemistry in the Barataria Basin, Mississippi Delta—System Functioning, Human Impacts and Restoration Approaches" Water 13, no. 5: 642. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050642

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