Wetlands ecology and management

WFS 340

Fall Semester 2018

University of Tennessee-Knoxville



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

Phone:                                   MG: 974-2740 (office), 865-385-0772 (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:                  12 Nov − 6 Dec 2018


Tentative Schedule:


12–16 November:








What is a wetland?

USFWS Wetland Classification


Waterbird ID and Wing Characteristics




FWF 415 (Upland Habitat Management)

E. Willcox



Annual cycle of wetland wildlife (Gray)

Wetland Management (moist-soil management)

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



19 – 23 November:








 LAB PRACTICUM (9:00−10:30)
(156/157 Plant Biotech)

Capacity Estimation
(Lecture, DED Lab Exercise) – Gray

Waterfowl Surveys and Regulations (Graves)








Surveying Wetlands
(A. Ludwig)
Meet at 11:30

 Wetland Management (agriculture, GTRSs) – Gray
Meet at 2:30 pm

Wetland Management Plan Group Exercise

Wetland Values and Threats
(time permitting)


Wetland Restoration & Conservation Programs (Graves)



26 – 30 November:










Lick Creek Bottoms WMA Field Trip
(8:00 am) – return before
5 pm


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.


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



3 – 7 December:








LECTURE EXAM (9:00−11:00)
(260 Brehm)



Work on Management Plans






Fall Camp is Over – you can volunteer through Sunday, 9 Dec for WFS 340 extra credit.





Academic Assessment:


Full Syllabus


Weights of Academic Assessments and Grading Scale:


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


● Lecture Exam:                               25% (Mon, 3 December 2018 at 9:00 am, 260 Brehm AS)          

            Lab Practicum:                              25% (Mon, 19 November 2018 at 9:00 am, 156/157 PBB)

            ● DED Lab Exercise:                        5% (Tuesday, 20 November 2018 )

            ● Management Plan:                         35% (due Thursday, 6 December 2018 by 5:00 pm)

            ● Participation:                                  10%


Your course grade will be determined using the following scale:



Final Weighted Percent



Final Weighted Percent























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; 28-29 Nov) for a total of 10% of your final grade. Attendance at other lectures is not mandatory but strongly recommended.


Extra Credit Opportunities:


Volunteer: You can positively influence your grade as much as 4.5% by volunteering for extra credit. Your volunteer work 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 Monday, 10 December 2018. A volunteer form (see below) must be filled out by the supervising individual and submitted to Dr. Gray.

            VOLUNTEER FORM

Video Competition: You can positively influence your grade up to 4% by creating a <5-min video that highlights experiences in WFS 340 (class, lab, and field). Videos must be in MP4 format and submitted to mgray11@utk.edu and cgraves2@utk.edu using UTK Vault (https://vault.utk.edu) no later than Monday, 10 December 2018. You must agree that your video can be posted via social media if selected. Some examples of videos are on the WFS 340 website. Up to three students can work on and submit a video together. Dr. Gray, Chris and some graduate students will evaluate the videos, and the final grade of the students submitting 1st and 2nd place videos will be increased by 4% and 2%, respectively. Video submissions not receiving 1st or 2nd place will receive 1%.

Course Evaluation: Submit a course evaluation via TNVoice and email a screenshot to Dr. Gray showing completion of the WFS 340 evaluation before midnight, Wednesday, 5 December. Please label the screenshot file as “CourseEvaluation_LASTNAME”. The screenshot needs to show your name in the image. Your final grade will be increased by 0.5%.


Teaching Resources:

Required Species ID


            Required TN Anurans

            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:



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)

         Common TN Reptiles: Dr. Bill Sutton” (not required) 


          Vascular Plant Identification and Taxonomy:            https://herbarium.utk.edu/vascular/


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


Tennessee Amphibian Identification:             http://www.leaps.ms/ and https://www.tn.gov/twra/wildlife/amphibians.html


Waterfowl Identification:       https://flyways.us/duck-identification-resources  and http://www.ducks.org/hunting/waterfowl-id/            


Shorebird Identification:        https://www.manomet.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Shorebird_Identification_Jason-Hoeksema_Delta-Wind-Birds.pdf





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


2017: http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs340/340home_2017.htm

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