Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1988

Abstract

The importance of incorporating results from a number of scientific disciplines into the interpretation of wetland functions and processes was assessed by reviewing the history of research conducted in the Cowles Bog Wetland Complex in northwest Indiana. Early twentieth century work consisted primarily of descriptive studies that provided a historical reference for later work. The major research effort in the wetland was in direct response to hydrologic disturbances associated with industrial development adjacent to the site in the 1960s and 1970s. Geohydrology, surface-water hydrology, water chemistry, soil chemistry, stratigraphy, plant ecology, and animal ecology studies were all initiated at that time. These studies were continued after the industrial threats had lessened in an effort to better understand the wetland and ensure wise management of its resources. The studies also provided a framework for research on the developmental history of the wetland and its vegetation. Paleoecology, sedimentology, and remote sensing studies were added to the overall research effort to help delineate that history. The many disciplines used in the study of Cowles Bog were interrelated, and each provided information necessary for accurate interpretation of results from other studies.