Wetlands ecology and management

WFS 340

Fall Semester 2017

University of Tennessee-Knoxville



Instructor:                             Dr. Matthew J. Gray (mattjgray@utk.edu) and Chris Graves (cgraves2@utk.edu)

Phone:                                   MG: 974-2740 (office), 385-0772 (cell); CG: 828-550-7909

Office:                                   247 Ellington PSB (MG), 275 Ellington PSB (CG)


Course Goal:                         To expose students to the basic principles of wetland ecology and management via class lectures, labs, and field experiences.


Required Readings:                 Handed out in class or emailed.


Recommended Texts:            Wetlands, 2007, 4th edition (ISBN 978-0-471-69967-5) or

                                                Wetlands, 2000, 3rd edition (ISBN 0-471-29232-X)

                                                    By: William J. Mitsch and James G. Gosselink


                                                Wetland Restoration and Construction, 2011 (978-0-9834558-0-6)

                                                    By: Thomas Biebighauser


Course Credits:                     2 credits

Course Duration:                  13 Nov − 1 Dec 2017


Tentative Schedule:


13–17 November:









Introduction to WFS 340 (Gray)

Waterbird ID and Wing Characteristics

What is a wetland?

USFWS Wetland Classification

Surveying Wetlands
(A. Ludwig, BESS ; Graves)
Meet at 8 :00 am

Wetland Management
(continued and GTRs) – Gray


Wetland Management Plan Group Exercise

Wetland Values and Threats
(time permitting)


TAMP Workshop
(12 – 5:00 pm,
B. English)

Reptile ID–MP4
(B. Sutton, TSU)
Annual cycle of wetland wildlife (Gray)

Waterfowl Surveys and Regulations (Graves)
Wetland Management (moist-soil management & agriculture) – Gray

Capacity Estimation
(Lecture, DED Lab Exercise) – Gray



Wetland Restoration & Conservation Programs (Graves)


20 – 24 November:










(Study for Lab Practicum)


Lick Creek Bottoms WMA Field Trip
(7:30 am) – return before
5 pm







LAB PRACTICUM (1:00−3:00)
(156/157 Plant Biotech)


27 November –1 December:









(Study for Lecture Exam)


Leave for Noxubee NWR (8:00 am)


Noxubee NWR
(wetland management: waterfowl capture; moist-soil, GTRs, field reconnaissance for management plans, hunting)

**Mist netting at night for owls & bats**


Noxubee NWR
(non-game management: RCWs, bats, squirrels)




Leave Noxubee NWR at 9:00 a.m. and return to Knoxville

by 5:00 p.m.


LECTURE EXAM (1:00−3:00)
(156/157 Plant Biotech)

 Visit Briefly with Refuge Staff, Watch Video, Set up Camp




Academic Assessment:


Weights of Academic Assessments and Grading Scale:


The exam, lab practicum, homework assignment, and participation (field trip attendance) will be weighted as follows:


● Exam:                                            30% (Mon, 27 November 2017 at 1:00 pm, 156/157 PBB)          

            ● Lab Practicum:                              30% (Mon, 20 November 2017 at 1:00 pm, 156/157 PBB)

            ● DED Lab Exercise:                        5% (due Thursday, 16 November 2017 )

            ● Management Plan:                         25% (due Thursday, 7 December 2017 by 5:00 pm)

            ● Participation:                                  10%


Your course grade will be determined using the following scale:



Final Weighted Percent



Final Weighted Percent






















You can positively influence your grade as much as 4.5% by volunteering for extra credit.  Your volunteer work however must be related to wildlife ecology.  For every 8 hours of volunteer work, your final grade will be increased by 1.5% up to 4.5% (24 hours total).  All volunteering must be completed before 08 December 2017.  A volunteer form (see website) must be filled out by the supervising individual, and submitted to Dr. Gray.


            VOLUNTEER FORM



Attendance is required during the TAMP Workshop (1%), Wetland Surveying Lab (1%), and the field trip to Lick Creek Bottoms WMA (2% of final grade). The field trip to Mississippi is 6% (1.5% for each ˝ day; 29-30 Nov) for a total of 10% of your final grade. Attendance at other lectures is not mandatory but strongly recommended.


Full Syllabus


Teaching Resources:

Required Species ID


            Required TN Anurans

            Required Reptiles

            Required Waterbirds


Recommended Readings (Wetlands Edition 3 [below]; Edition 4 see: http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs340/ReadingList2008.pdf)

          •What are Wetlands?               Chap 2, Chap 6 (155–164, Hydric Soils), Chap 21 (754–758)

          •Wetland Regs & Programs     Chap 18, Chap 19 (653–668), Leibowitz et al. (2008)

          •Wetland Classification            Chap 21 (737–744)

USFWS (Cowardin) Classification System (pages 9-44 if questions after lecture)

          •Wetland Losses & Impacts     Chap 4 (71–89), Chap 17 (611–625)

•Bottomland Sedimentation     Hatchie River Shoals and Valley Plugs (Diehl 2000)      

          •Wetland Values                      Chap 16 (571–591)

•Wetland Construction            Chap 19 (668–680)

NWRC Waterfowl Habitat Management Handbook 13.4.8

Waterfowl Habitat Management Handbook for LMRV


•Wetland Restoration (T. Biebighauser Readings)

•Why Should We Build Wetlands?    Chap 1 (7 – 9 pp)

•Locating Drained Wetlands              Chap 2 (10 – 27 pp)

•The Basics of Wetland Restoration   Chap 3 (28 – 39 pp)

•Restoration Photos  Website (9 links under “Wetland and Stream Restoration Photo Albums)


          •Wetland Management            Chap 17 (625–638)

Managing Wetlands for Wildlife (Gray et al. 2013)

Managing Small Impoundments for Wildlife (Gray et al. 2012)

NWRC Waterfowl Habitat Management Handbook 13.4.6

NWRC Waterfowl Habitat Management Handbook 13.2.1

Waterfowl Habitat Management Handbook for the Lower MS River Valley

Flooding Effects on Agricultural Seed (Foster et al. 2010)

Greentree Reservoir Handbook (Fredrickson and Batema 1992; Chaps 1, 2, 5, 6, & 8)


•Duck-energy days                   TME for Acorns & Other Foods (Kaminski et al. 2003)

(need for assignment)               Predicting Seed Yield (Laubhan 1992)

Predicting Seed Yield (Gray et al. 1999a)

                                                New Method to Predict Seed Yield (Gray et al. 1999b)

                                                Scanning Technologies to Predict Seed Yield (Gray et al. 2009)  

DEDs in Tennessee Croplands (Foster et al. 2010)



•Wood duck Biology                Population Status (Davis 2005)

                                                Wood Duck Brood Ecology (Davis et al. 2002)


Supplemental Resources

          USACE Wetland Delineation Manual (1987)

          USACE Wetland Delineation Form

          TN Hydric Soils List

          NRCS Keys to Soil Taxonomy

          NRCS Field Indicators of Hydric Soils

          USFWS National Hydrophyte List (1996)

          USFWS Wetland Status and Trends (2000)

          Bottomland Hardwood Guidebook: GTRs (King and Fredrickson 1998)

          Shorebird Management Handbook (Helmers 1992)

          North American Waterfowl Management Plan (2004)

          USFWS Moist-soil Management Guidelines (Strader and Stinson 2005)

          PARC Habitat Management Guidelines for Amphibians and Reptiles

Testing Preparation

          Lab Practicum Requirements 

Exam Review (not all topics covered)



Podcasts: (MP4 Format)

1.      iTunes Instructions: (you must first download iTunes to Listen to Podcasts)

1)      Go to http://itunesu.utk.edu

2)      Click on "Download iTunes & Quick Time"

3)      Click on “Download iTunes Free”

4)      Save iTunes to your hard drive and install.

2.      Link to iTunes to Listen to Podcasts:  Launch Podcasts in iTunes U 

Slides: (PDF Format)


                “What is a Jurisdictional Wetland?

USFWS Wetland Classification           

Moist-soil and Agriculture Management

Green-tree Reservoir Management        

Wetland Carrying Capacity 

                 “Wetland Restoration and Conservation Programs: Part I" (Chris Graves)

"Wetland Restoration and Conservation Programs: Part II" (Chris Graves)

"Wetland Restoration and Conservation Programs: Part III" (Chris Graves)

                 “Wetland Values

                 “Wetland Losses & Human Impacts

 Websites (Class)

          USFWS Hydrophyte List

          USGS Wetland Hydrology Site

          USGS Wetland Loss Site

          Videos of Louisiana Coastal Wetland Loss 

          Historical Loss of Louisiana Wetlands

          NWRC Waterfowl Management Site            

Websites (Wetland Conservation Programs)

          Wetland Reserve Program       WRP Brochure      Tennessee WRP Website 

          Tennessee Partners Program   TPP Brochure

Conservation Reserve Program (Forested Riparian Buffer Practice) Iowa Brochure

Websites (Wetland Conservation & Professionals)

            Society of Wetland Scientists           

RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands

            Ducks Unlimited

Lab Resources:



         “Common TN Reptiles: Dr. Bill Sutton” (2016) 


Waterfowl ID: Graves" (Graves -- 2016)


Shorebird ID: Graves" (Graves -- 2016)


Wading & Secretative Marshbird ID: Graves" (Graves -- 2016)


         Tennessee Anuran Identification (Gray- supplemental)


Anuran Call Mnemonics" (supplemental)

         Anuran ID: Graves" (Graves - supplemental)     

          Waterfowl Identification (Gray- supplemental)

Shorebird Identification (Gray- supplemental)



          Vascular Plant Identification and Taxonomy:            http://tenn.bio.utk.edu/vascular/vascular.shtml


            Moist-soil Plant Identification         http://www.amazon.com/Moist-Soil-Wetland-Plants-Mississippi-Alluvial/dp/1617031461


Tennessee Amphibian Identification:             http://www.leaps.ms/ and http://www.state.tn.us/twra/tamp/tamp.html


Waterfowl Identification:       http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/tools/duckdist/duckdist.htm and http://www.ducks.org/waterfowling/gallery/             


Shorebird Identification:        http://samigbird.fws.gov/shorid.htm (click on ‘Learn to identify Shorebirds’)





Wetlands Class Photos

Fall Camp 2010





WFS 340 Video (2015)


Link to Wetland Restoration Photos (2015)


WFS 340 Video (2014)


WFS 340 Video (2013)


Link to Wetand Restoration Photos (2013)


WFS 340 Video (2005 -- 2012)


Link to Class and Fieldtrip Photos



Graduate Instructors:

No graduate instructors this year. 

Previous WFS 340 Websites


2016: http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs340/340home_2016.htm

2015: http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs340/340home_2015.htm

2014: http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs340/340home_2014.htm

2013: http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs340/340home_2013.htm

2012: http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs340/340home_2012.htm

2011: http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs340/340home_2011.htm

2010: http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs340/340home_2010.htm

2009: http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs340/340home_2009.htm

2008: http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs340/340home_2008.htm

2007: http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs340/340home_2007.htm

2006: http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs340/340home_2006.htm

2005: http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs340/340home_2005.htm