Wetland plants: An under-utilized resource?

May 28, 2024 10:00 AM

In my work, I spend a lot of time talking about the ecosystem services, or benefits to humans, that wetlands provide.  I often focus on the floodwater retention, nutrient reduction, and wildlife habitat benefits of wetlands, but tend to gloss over the food and fiber these ecosystems can provide.  For many people the first idea that pops into their minds of food or fiber from a wetland is likely animal related – fish, frog legs, waterfowl, or beaver pelts.  These are all potential food and fiber sources, but only a fraction of what wetlands offer.  I am going to focus on wetland plants for this post as they are so often overlooked...

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Kay Stefanik Assistant Director, Iowa Nutrient Research Center

Dr. Kay Stefanik is the Assistant Director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center.  She works to promote the adoption of conservation practices to reduce nutrient loss from agricultural settings.  Her expertise is in wetland ecology and aquatic biogeochemistry.  She has studied nitro...