Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2017

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Earth and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Griffith, Alan

Second Advisor

Hayob, Jodie

Major or Concentration

Environmental Science (Natural Science Concentration)


Vegetation community structures within tidal freshwater wetlands are subject to control by diurnal tides. Elevation affects the degree of inundation of wetland soils and ultimately controls reduction potentials, a stressor placed on wetland plants. Previous studies have not looked at the affect micro elevation changes have on plant community structures. In order to understand the community structures, relative elevation, reduction potential (Eh), reactive nitrogen, and species diversity were recorded. Sites 1 and 2 were identified on the Pamunkey River and variables were recorded every 2.4 meters and 1.5 meters, respectively. There was a positive correlation between elevation and redox potential and species diversity, while a negative trend was seen between elevation and nitrate concentrations. Relative elevations recorded in this study ranged from -0.08 meters to 0.214 meters. The data suggests that elevation changes over 30 cm significantly affect physiochemical conditions and plant community structure.