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North American Baldcypress Swamp Volunteer Network

NWRC Researcher Ben Handley standing next to a baldcypress

Volunteers can help scientists understand the effects of climate change on baldcypress swamps. Rising levels of carbon dioxide have been linked to increases in temperatures in North America, and scientists need to understand better how well natural wetlands can pull gases from the atmosphere. You can help scientists at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center who are studying production levels in swamps to better understand if swamps can store the carbon that is present in the atmosphere.

The results of this study conducted by volunteers across latitudes in North America will give scientists insight into what a future of warmer average temperatures may mean for baldcypress swamp carbon storage and distribution. Current levels of production have already been measured in the North American Baldcypress Swamp Network.

Our coverage of study areas is currently limited to the Mississippi River Alluvial Valley, but we would like to expand to other parts of the southeastern United States, where baldcypress swamps occur.

Volunteers are needed throughout the southeastern United States to assist USGS scientists with various tasks, including

  1. Setting up litter traps and root ingrowth cores and collecting seed bank samples (1-2 days in September).
  2. Photographing research sites (any time).
  3. Collecting voucher specimens of plants from study sites for herbarium storage (1-2 days during the summer growing season).
  4. Collecting and mailing leaf litter fall from litter traps (1 day in December).

We are looking for volunteers who have an interest in field ecology and who are not intimidated by conditions in a swamp (mud, bugs, snakes, alligators). It is an ideal project for students, classes, retired citizens, and the general public, particularly if you live near a baldcypress swamp and can access it on foot.

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Page Last Modified: Monday, 28-Sep-2015 14:01:51 EDT