Wetlands ecology and management

WFS 340

Fall Semester 2015

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:                  5−20 Nov, 4 Dec 2015


Tentative Schedule:



2 – 6 November:










Annual Meeting of SEAFWA

(Asheville NC)

Wetland Definition

156/157 PBB

Reptile ID

156/157 PBB

(8:30 - 11:30 am)


 Wetland Classification and Waterbird ID
156/7 PBB

 TAMP Workshop

(12 - 4:00 pm)
160 PBB


9–13 November:








Wetland Management (moist-soil management & agriculture)
156/7 PBB

Capacity Estimation

115 Ellington PSB



Wetlands with Chris Graves (Wetland Restoration and Survey Techniques)

& Wetland


Human Impacts on Wetlands and West TN Wetland Losses
156/157 PBB


(Study for Lab Practicum)


Wetland Management
(above continued and GTRs)
156/7 PBB
Capacity Estimation
Assignment & Lab Exercise
115 Ellington PSB
Waterfowl Regulations & Wetland Conservation Programs
114 Ellington
LAB PRACTICUM (2:00−4:00)
160 PBB


16–20 November:








Leave for Noxubee NWR (8:00 am)


Noxubee NWR

(moist-soil units, GTRs, aquatic plant management)

MSU Presentations


Meet Drs. Brian Davis

and Rick Kaminski






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

by 5:00 p.m.



(Study for Lecture Exam)



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


Noxubee NWR

(non-game management and research)

MSU Entomology Museum

Meet Dr. Richard Brown


156/157 PBB



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:                                            40% (Friday, 20 November 2015 at 2:00 pm)          

            Lab Practicum:                              30% (Friday, 13 November 2015 at 2:00 pm)

            ● DED Assignment:                          10% (due Friday, 4 December 2015 by 5:00 pm)

            ● Management Plan:                         10% (due Friday, 4 December 2015 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 wetlands or wetland fauna (e.g., amphibians, waterbirds).  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 by 04 December 2015.  A volunteer form (see website) must be filled out by the supervising individual, and submitted to Dr. Gray.


            VOLUNTEER FORM



Attendance during the Tennessee Amphibian Monitoring Program (TAMP) and Wetland Restoration workshops as well as the 3-day field trip to Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi will count for 10% of your final grade.  You must be present during the workshops and participate in all field trip activities to receive 10% (1.25% for each ½ day; ¼ of the attendance grade for the Wetland Restoration workshop will be a quiz over assigned readings).  Attendance at lectures is not mandatory but strongly recommended.


Full Syllabus


Teaching Resources:

Homework Assignment

          DED Calculations (link not active yet)         (Due: Friday, 4 December 2015)



            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: (MP3 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?(PDF)         

           USFWS Wetland Classification(PDF)

           Moist-soil and Agriculture Management (PDF)

           Green-tree Reservoir Management         (PDF)

            Wetland Carrying Capacity  (PDF)

            “Wetland Losses & Human Impacts(PDF)

            “Wetland Losses in West Tennessee(Sonja Oswalt)           

            “Wetland Values(PDF, assigned as a podcast)

            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)

            Monitoring Ecological Restoration of Hardwood Bottomlands” (Summers and Gray; not on exam)

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:



          Tennessee Anuran Identification              Tennessee Anuran Identification (PDF)

          Waterfowl Identification (PDF)

Shorebird Identification (PDF)


Waterfowl ID: Graves" (PDF)


Shorebird ID: Graves" (PDF)


Wading & Secretative Marshbird ID: Graves" (PDF)


Anuran Call Mnemonics" (PDF)

         Anuran ID: Graves" (PDF)          

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


          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





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


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