Study

Restoration of wetlands from abandoned rice fields for nutrient removal, and biological community and landscape diversity

  • Published source details Comin F.A., Romero J.A., Hernandez O. & Menendez M. (2001) Restoration of wetlands from abandoned rice fields for nutrient removal, and biological community and landscape diversity. Restoration Ecology, 9, 201-208.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Abandon cropland: allow freshwater marshes or swamps to recover without active intervention

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Abandon cropland: allow freshwater marshes or swamps to recover without active intervention

    A study in 1993–1995 of six former rice fields in a delta in north-east Spain (Comín et al. 2001) reported that after rice cultivation was stopped (but irrigation continued) the fields were colonized by rushes and reeds, and that older abandoned fields contained taller vegetation with greater biomass. A field surveyed one year after cultivation stopped was dominated by barnyardgrass Echinochloa spp. and sea club rush Scirpus maritimus. Older fields, surveyed 2–6 years after cultivation stopped, were dominated by sea club rush, broadleaf cattail Typha latifolia or common reed Phragmites australis. Cover was not quantified. In older fields, vegetation reached a significantly greater peak above-ground biomass (e.g. 1–2 years old: 520–817 g/m2; 4–6 years old: 1,195–1,391 g/m2), although there were no significant differences over time in vegetation density (157–246 stems/m2) or height (<50–124 cm). Methods: In 1993, 1994 or 1995, emergent vegetation was surveyed in each of six former rice fields: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 years after rice cultivation had stopped (although controlled April–October fresh water flooding continued). Each month during the controlled flooding, above-ground biomass was cut from eight 40 x 40 cm quadrats/field then dried and weighed. The height of the dominant species was measured in three of the quadrats.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references
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