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Cranberry Study


Cranberry agriculture has been an important landscape-shaping factor in parts of the Pinelands because it involves clearing land to construct bogs, damming streams to establish reservoirs, and channelizing stream segments and creating extensive ditch networks to facilitate the movement of water.  Because current harvested acreage represents less than one-third of the peak of bog cultivation in the early 1900's, abandoned-cranberry bogs are now a common feature of the Pinelands landscape.  In a study funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, Commission scientists compared stream-drainage and wetland-landscape patterns, stream flow, and acid-water diatom, macroinvertebrate, fish, and plant assemblages between watersheds that drain active-cranberry bogs, abandoned-cranberry bogs, and forest land.  The diatom component also included streams that drained developed and agricultural land.  The methods and results for each study component are available in Zampella et al. 2007.  Results of the diatom, macroinvertebratewetland-landscape, and hydrology components have been published in scientific journals.