Chemostratigraphic investigations of beaver wetlands along Jarrett Creek, North Carolina, USA
Cameron, Christopher Sean
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This project examines differences in carbon and nitrogen soil geochemistry of two wetlands along Jarrett Creek, located in the Nantahala River Valley of western North Carolina, to characterize differences associated with the activity of North American beaver (Castor canadensis). Total carbon and nitrogen composition of soil samples from the beaver wetland, Jarrett Creek Meadows (JCM), show statistically higher values than those of the non-beaver wetland, Jarrett Creek Bog (JCB). Elevation of carbon and nitrogen content at JCM appears to reflect maintenance of the wetland by beaver. Enrichment of stable nitrogen (15N) at JCB compared to JCM suggests differences in denitrification rates at these two wetlands as a result of beaver activity. Soil core data shows these dissimilarities persist with depth. These distinctions in the carbon and nitrogen soil geochemistry provide criteria to examine other Southern Blue Ridge wetlands to identify beaver activity within geomorphic and stratigraphic framework.