Wetlands can help reduce nutrient loading to lakes and estuaries, but determining how much phosphorus or nitrogen a particular wetland can capture and retain over the long run is difficult. A research team from Old Woman Creek Reserve and the University of Toledo developed a Bayesian hierarchical modeling approach to calculate the long-term phosphorus retention capacity of wetlands with limited datasets. They produced a series of tools, including a monitoring protocol and freely available statistical code to enable others to estimate the retention capacity of their own wetland system. The tools are most useful for wetlands with a single inflow and outflow point.
About this Tool
To facilitate data analysis and interpretation, the team has developed a series of technical resources that are available on a GitHub Repository. A model user guide, example data set, statistical code, and other supporting information are housed on the repository. The R code is intended to help researchers who want to use this approach to analyze similarly suitable data.
The user guide includes instructions for preparing, uploading, and running the data through a cloud-based model interface the team has developed. The model example is written in Jupyter notebook and can be run on Google Colaboratory (colab) without needing to install R and Stan locally.
A companion resource, Determination of Wetland Total Phosphorus Retention Capacity, provides guidance on how to monitor your wetland and generate the data necessary to do these calculations.