Study

Restoration of wetland vegetation with transplanted wetland soil: an experimental study

  • Published source details Brown S.C. & Bedford B.L. (1997) Restoration of wetland vegetation with transplanted wetland soil: an experimental study. Wetlands, 17, 424-437

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove plant litter: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Disturb soil/sediment surface: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Use cutting/mowing to control problematic herbaceous plants: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Transplant or replace blocks of vegetation: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Disturb soil/sediment surface: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Transplant or replace wetland soil: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Transplant or replace wetland soil: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Remove plant litter: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1992–1993 in five freshwater marshes undergoing restoration in New York State, USA (Brown & Bedford 1997) found that plots cleared of plant litter contained a more wetland-characteristic plant community and greater cover of wetland plant species than uncleared plots after one growing season, but that these effects disappeared after two growing seasons. After one growing season, cleared plots contained a plant community more characteristic of wetland conditions than uncleared plots (data reported as a wetland indicator index). Cleared plots also had greater total cover of wetland plants (cleared: 24%; uncleared: 19%). The number of wetland plant species did not significantly differ between treatments (cleared: 2.4; uncleared: 2.0 species/plot). After two growing seasons, all metrics were statistically similar under both treatments: community composition, wetland plant cover (cleared: 67%; uncleared: 54%) and wetland plant richness (cleared: 3.7; uncleared: 2.8 species/plot). Methods: In May 1992, twenty 0.25-m2 plots were established across five recently rewetted sites (drained for ≥40 years previously). In five plots (one plot/site), all surface litter and plant stems were removed. Litter was left in the other 15 plots (three plots/site). Plant species and cover were recorded in autumn 1992 and 1993.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Disturb soil/sediment surface: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1992–1993 in five freshwater marshes undergoing restoration in New York State, USA (Brown & Bedford 1997) found that plots with disturbed soil contained a more wetland-characteristic plant community, with more and greater cover of wetland species, after one growing season – but that these effects disappeared after two growing seasons. After one growing season, disturbed plots contained a plant community more characteristic of wetland conditions than undisturbed plots (data reported as a wetland indicator index). Disturbed plots also contained more and greater total cover of wetland plant species (3.2 species/plot; 28% cover) than undisturbed plots (2.0 species/plot; 19% cover). After two growing seasons, all metrics were statistically similar under both treatments: community composition, wetland plant cover (disturbed: 72%; undisturbed: 54%) and wetland plant richness (disturbed: 3.6; undisturbed: 2.8 species/plot). Methods: In May 1992, twenty 0.25-m2 plots were established across five recently rewetted sites (drained for ≥40 years previously). In five plots (one plot/site), the top 15 cm of soil was removed then put back in place. The other 15 plots (three plots/site) were left undisturbed. Plant species and cover were recorded in autumn 1992 and 1993.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  3. Use cutting/mowing to control problematic herbaceous plants: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, controlled study in 1993–1995 in five freshwater marshes undergoing restoration in New York State, USA (Brown & Bedford 1997) found that mowing typically had no significant effect on richness or total cover of wetland plants, and cover of cattails Typha spp. Over two years after intervention, mown and unmown plots contained a statistically similar number of wetland plant species in six of six comparisons (mown: 1.9–4.5; unmown: 1.4–4.7 species/plot). Mown and unmown plots had statistically similar cover of wetland plants in five of six comparisons (for which mown: 10–107%; unmown: 5–96%; other comparison higher in mown plots). After two years, mown and unmown plots had statistically similar cattail cover in three of three comparisons (mown: 2%; unmown: 0–7%). Methods: The study used five degraded wetland sites, drained for ≥40 years. In summer 1993, areas within three sites were mown. Cuttings were not removed. In autumn 1993, all five sites were rewetted. Plant species and cover were recorded in 1994 and 1995 (precise date not reported), in 30 quadrats in the mown areas and 39 quadrats in nearby unmown areas. Quadrats spanned a range of elevations.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  4. Transplant or replace blocks of vegetation: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1992–1993 in five freshwater marshes undergoing restoration in New York State, USA (Brown & Bedford 1997) found that plots of transplanted marsh vegetation contained a more wetland-characteristic plant community, with more and greater cover of wetland species, than plots without transplants for up to two growing seasons. After one growing season, transplanted plots contained a plant community more characteristic of wetland conditions than plots without transplants (data reported as a wetland indicator index). The transplanted plots also contained more and greater cover of wetland plant species (3.7 species/plot; 50% cover) than plots without transplants (2.0 species/plot; 19% cover). After two growing seasons, the transplanted plots still had greater cover of wetland plants (99%) than plots without transplants (54%), but the other metrics did not significantly differ between treatments (e.g. 5.1 vs 2.8 wetland plant species/plot). Methods: In May 1992, thirty 0.25-m2 plots were established across five recently rewetted sites (drained for ≥40 years previously). In 15 plots (three plots/site), 15 cm of topsoil was removed and replaced with sods of soil and vegetation from nearby remnant marshes. The other 15 plots (three plots/site) were left undisturbed. Plant species and cover were recorded in autumn 1992 and 1993.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  5. Disturb soil/sediment surface: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, controlled study in 1993–1995 in five freshwater marshes undergoing restoration in New York State, USA (Brown & Bedford 1997) found that plots disturbed by ploughing typically contained more and greater cover of wetland plant species than unploughed plots after one year, and higher cover of cattails Typha spp. after two years. After one year, ploughed plots had greater total cover of wetland plants than unploughed plots in three of three comparisons (ploughed: 33–74%; unploughed: 5–15%). Ploughed plots contained more wetland plant species in two of three comparisons (for which ploughed: 5.7–6.4; unploughed: 3.0 species/plot; other comparison no significant difference). After two years, treatments did not significantly differ in either total wetland plant cover (ploughed: 114–138%; unploughed: 71–96%) or richness (ploughed: 2.4–4.9; unploughed: 3.7–4.7 species/plot). However, ploughed plots had far greater cover of cattails in three of three comparisons (ploughed: 72–148%; unploughed: 0–7%). Methods: The study used five degraded wetland sites, drained for ≥40 years. In summer 1993, areas within two sites were ploughed. In autumn 1993, all five sites were rewetted. Plant species and cover were recorded in 1994 and 1995 (precise date not reported), in 18 quadrats in the ploughed areas and 39 quadrats in nearby unploughed areas. Quadrats spanned a range of elevations.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  6. Transplant or replace wetland soil: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, controlled study in 1992–1993 in five freshwater marshes undergoing restoration in New York State, USA (Brown & Bedford 1997) found that plots amended with sieved marsh soil had greater cover of wetland plant species over two growing seasons than unamended plots, and a more wetland-characteristic plant community in the first growing season. Over two growing seasons after intervention, amended plots had greater total cover of wetland plant species (28–96%) than unamended plots (19–54%). However, the number of wetland plant species never significantly differed between amended plots (3.0–3.9 species/plot) and unamended plots (2.0–2.8 species/plot). The overall plant community was more characteristic of wetland conditions in amended plots than unamended plots after one growing season, but there was no significant difference between treatments after two (data reported as a wetland indicator index). Methods: In May 1992, twenty-one 0.25-m2 plots were established across five recently rewetted sites (drained for ≥40 years previously). In six plots (three plots in each of two sites), 15 cm of topsoil was removed and replaced with sieved soil (1 cm mesh) from nearby remnant marshes. The other 15 plots (three plots/site) were left undisturbed. Plant species and cover were recorded in autumn 1992 and 1993.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  7. Transplant or replace wetland soil: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1993–1995 in five freshwater marshes undergoing restoration in New York State, USA (Brown & Bedford 1997) found that plots amended with wetland soil typically contained more and greater cover of wetland plant species than unamended plots over two years – and contained a more wetland-characteristic plant community after one. Over two years after intervention, amended plots contained more wetland plant species than unamended plots in six of six comparisons (amended: 6.7–9.1; unamended: 1.4–4.7 species/plot). Amended plots had greater total cover of wetland plants in five of six comparisons (for which amended: 80–193%; unamended: 5–96%; other comparison no significant difference). The overall plant community was more characteristic of wetland conditions in amended plots than unamended plots after one year, but there was no significant difference between treatments after two (data reported as a wetland indicator index). After two years, cover of cattails Typha spp. was low, and statistically similar, in amended plots (1–10%) and unamended plots (0–2%). Methods: In summer 1993, soil from remnant marshes in drainage ditches was spread onto five degraded wetlands (drained for ≥40 years). In autumn 1993, all five sites were rewetted. Plant species and cover were recorded in 1994 and 1995 (precise date not reported), in 54 quadrats in areas amended with wetland soil and 39 quadrats in nearby unamended areas. Quadrats spanned a range of elevations.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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