Project Director

Spratt, Henry

Department Examiner

McDonald, Gary; Kovach, Margaret; Carver, Ethan


Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The purpose of this study was to assess whether high sulfur inputs in a local wetland had an effect on the functions of this wetland, i.e. an increased sulfate reduction rate and an increased sulfate concentration compared to a control wetland. Sulfate reduction rates were compared in two wetlands in Chattanooga, Tennessee during July and December 2007.These wetlands were known to have bad different histories of sulfur input via sulfates in precipitation or runoff.Through use of a 35S tracer technique, overall sulfate reduction rates could be compared for the two wetlands.Replicated sediment cores were collected from each wetland on the different sample dates.In the lab these cores were extruded and subdivided into two depth ranges,0-2.5cm, and 7.5-l0cm, which were then incubated with the 35S tracer.In the top sample (0-2.5cm), the wetland at the Volunteer Anny Ammunition Plant (V AAP)(2.67μ 1)had a higher sulfate reduction·rate than the wetland at Williams Island (0.22μmol.gwet.daf1)in July. The rates did not vary significantly at the 0.05 level(t-test, p = 0.17).In December, the V AAP site (0.4lμmol.gwet.daf1)again had a higher sulfate reduction rate than the rate at Williams Island(0.24μmol.gwet.daf1)in the 0-2.5cm sample.The rates did not vary at the 0.05 level (t-test, p = 0.56). For the 7 .5-10.0cm samples in July, the V AAP site (l.40μmol.gwet.daf1)had a higher sulfate reduction rate compared to the rate at Williams Island (0.01 μmol.gwet.daf1), which were not statistically different at the 0.05 level (t-test, p = 0.16). The sulfate reduction rates were greater in July compared to December for both the V AAP site and Williams Island when comparing the 0-2.5cm samples and the 7.5-10.0cm samples, but were not statistically different.A higher rate in the V AAP site 0-2.5cm sample compared to VAAP site 7.5-10.0cm for the December sample is statistically supported.


I would like to thank Dr. Spratt for assisting me in formulating this hypothesis,all the time that he put forward to demonstrate the experimental setup and information regarding the topic.Dr. McDonald for taking over midway as my DHON liaison and for evaluating my work.Dr. Kovach and Dr. Carver for being on my DHON committee and giving of their time to evaluate my paper.Dr. Santiago for being my liaison during the first part ofmy DHON program.The office of the Provost for providing me with a generous grant to purchase some of the materials necessary to do this project.The Baylor School for allowing us to use their boat and property to access Williams Island.Mr. Inigo Howlett, for showing me some of the workings in the lab.


B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




Soils--Sulfur content--Analysis; Soils--Effect of habitat modification on; Wetland ecology--Tennessee


Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Document Type



v, 44 leaves





Call Number

LB2369.5 .M467 2008