, Volume 36, Supplement 2, pp 237–254

Hydrology of Prairie Wetlands: Understanding the Integrated Surface-Water and Groundwater Processes

  • Masaki Hayashi
  • Garth van der Kamp
  • Donald O. Rosenberry
Original Research

DOI: 10.1007/s13157-016-0797-9

Cite this article as:
Hayashi, M., van der Kamp, G. & Rosenberry, D.O. Wetlands (2016) 36(Suppl 2): 237. doi:10.1007/s13157-016-0797-9


Wetland managers and policy makers need to make decisions based on a sound scientific understanding of hydrological and ecological functions of wetlands. This article presents an overview of the hydrology of prairie wetlands intended for managers, policy makers, and researchers new to this field (e.g., graduate students), and a quantitative conceptual framework for understanding the hydrological functions of prairie wetlands and their responses to changes in climate and land use. The existence of prairie wetlands in the semi-arid environment of the Prairie-Pothole Region (PPR) depends on the lateral inputs of runoff water from their catchments because mean annual potential evaporation exceeds precipitation in the PPR. Therefore, it is critically important to consider wetlands and catchments as highly integrated hydrological units. The water balance of individual wetlands is strongly influenced by runoff from the catchment and the exchange of groundwater between the central pond and its moist margin. Land-use practices in the catchment have a sensitive effect on runoff and hence the water balance. Surface and subsurface storage and connectivity among individual wetlands controls the diversity of pond permanence within a wetland complex, resulting in a variety of eco-hydrological functionalities necessary for maintaining the integrity of prairie-wetland ecosystems.


Prairie pothole Slough Water balance Wetland complex Land use Climate change 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

    Copyright information

    © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2016

    Authors and Affiliations

    • Masaki Hayashi
      • 1
    • Garth van der Kamp
      • 2
    • Donald O. Rosenberry
      • 3
    1. 1.Department of GeoscienceUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
    2. 2.Environment CanadaSaskatoonCanada
    3. 3.U.S. Geological SurveyLakewoodUSA

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