Retain/restore/create vegetation around freshwater swamps
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Management of the watershed or catchment (the area of land which drains into a wetland) can be a critical part of wetland conservation.
Maintaining, restoring or creating vegetation in the watershed could reduce the amount of pollution reaching focal swamps (amongst other benefits; Ma 2016). Vegetated slopes or buffer zones may retain sediment and nutrients better than bare soil (Skagen et al. 2008; Smith et al. 2016). Perennial, deep-rooted plants in catchments can also soak up water and prevent salinization (due to rising water tables) in areas with salty soils (NSW Government 2019). Artificial wetlands may be built in the catchment of a focal marsh or swamp, and planted with vegetation that can remove or break down pollutants (Brix 2003). Vegetation could be retained around development, or could be introduced to degraded land around focal sites. Vegetation in watersheds could be carefully harvested, providing income to support conservation (Wantzen et al. 2006).
To be summarized as evidence for this action, studies must have reported the effect of vegetation near/around a focal swamp on the vegetation within the swamp. The surrounding vegetation may be permanent (e.g. planting forests) or temporary (e.g. planting cover crops in farmland). The scope of this action does not include (a) studies of water quality only, or (b) studies of the surrounding habitat, even if it is also a swamp, since this habitat is sacrificed to protect the focal site.
Brix, H. (2003) Plants used in constructed wetlands and their functions. Proceedings of the 1st International Seminar on the Use of Aquatic Macrophytes for Wastewater Treatment in Constructed Wetlands, 8–10 May 2003, Lisbon, Portugal, 81–109.
Ma M. (2016) Riparian buffer zone for wetlands. In: C.M. Finlayson, M. Everard, K. Irvine, R.J. McInnes, B.A. Middleton, A.A. van Dam, N.C. Davidson (eds.) The Wetland Book I: Structure and Function, Management, and Methods. Springer, Dordrecht. Accessed 28 October 2019.
NSW Government (2019) Type of Salinity and their Prevention. Available at https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/land-and-soil/soil-degradation/salinity/type-of-salinity-and-their-prevention. Accessed 30 December 2020.
Skagen S.K., Melcher C.P. & Haukos D.A. (2008) Reducing sedimentation of depressional wetlands in agricultural landscapes. Wetlands, 28, 594–604.
Smith C., DeKeyser E.S., Dixon C., Kobiela B. & Little A. (2016) Effects of sediment removal on prairie pothole wetland plant communities in North Dakota. Natural Areas Journal, 36, 48–58.
Wantzen K.M., Siqueira A., da Cunha C.N. & de Sá M.d.F.P. (2006) Stream-valley systems of the Brazilian Cerrado: impact assessment and conservation scheme. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 16, 713–732.