Abandon plantations: allow marshes or swamps to recover without active intervention
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
It may be possible that marshes or swamps will recover on their own, without any active intervention, if human activities are stopped. Such passive recovery can be cheaper than active intervention and allow development of a community well adapted to local conditions. However, plant colonization may not occur at all or, if it does, occur slowly or be dominated by invasive species (Zahawi et al. 2014). Successful recovery may be hindered by physical degradation (e.g. a water table that is too low, restricted tidal exchange), chemical degradation (e.g. acidification of wetland soils when exposed to oxygen) or an insufficient supply of propagules.
To be summarized as evidence for this action, studies must have monitored plantations that have been abandoned (plantation maintenance completely stopped, with no additional intervention) with the expectation that marshes or swamps could recover. Therefore, any summarized evidence is best considered as an indication of what kind of vegetation can develop in abandoned plantations, and how long it takes to develop, rather than a complete survey of all relevant evidence.
Related actions: Abandon cropland (freshwater – brackish/saline); Cut/remove/thin forest plantations (freshwater marshes – brackish/salt marshes – freshwater swamps – brackish/saline swamps); Raise water level to restore degraded habitats (freshwater marshes – brackish/salt marshes – freshwater swamps – brackish/saline swamps); Raise water level to restore/create habitats from other land uses (freshwater marshes – brackish/salt marshes – freshwater swamps – brackish/saline swamps); Modify logging practices in watershed, including abandonment of plantations.
Zahawi R.A., Reid J.L. & Holl K.D. (2014) Hidden costs of passive restoration. Restoration Ecology, 22, 284–287.