Study

Tidal-flow restoration provides little nesting habitat for a globally vulnerable saltmarsh bird: bird responses to tidal-flow restoration

  • Published source details Elphick C.S., Meiman S. & Rubega M.A. (2015) Tidal-flow restoration provides little nesting habitat for a globally vulnerable saltmarsh bird: bird responses to tidal-flow restoration. Restoration Ecology, 23, 439-446

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Control problematic plants (specific intervention unclear): brackish/saline marshes or swamps

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Facilitate tidal exchange to restore degraded brackish/salt marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Control problematic plants (specific intervention unclear): brackish/saline marshes or swamps

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2007–2008 across 16 salt marshes in Connecticut, USA (Elphick et al. 2015) found that plots where common reed Phragmites australis had been controlled had a similar vegetation density, cover of saltmarsh cordgrass Spartina patens and vegetation height to natural marshes. After 4–10 years, plots where common reed had been controlled had 10% common reed cover – greater than the 1% cover in natural marshes. However, other measured variables did not significantly differ between reed-control and natural marshes. This included overall vegetation density (28 vs 35 stems/100 cm2), cover of saltmarsh cordgrass (18 vs 20%), and maximum vegetation height (55 vs 40 cm). Methods: In summer 2007 and 2008, vegetation was surveyed in 26 plots (each 1 ha) spread across 16 salt marshes. In seven plots, interventions to control common reed had been implemented 4–10 years ago. The interventions included cutting and applying herbicide (further details not reported). The other 19 plots contained natural salt marsh vegetation. Vegetation cover was estimated in nine 1-m2 quadrats/plot, stem density in forty-five 100 cm quadrats/plot and vegetation height at 36 points/plot.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Facilitate tidal exchange to restore degraded brackish/salt marshes

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2007–2008 across 15 salt marshes in Connecticut, USA (Elphick et al. 2015) found that plots in which tidal exchange had been restored had lower cover of saltmeadow cordgrass Spartina patens and a lower plant stem density than natural marshes, but had statistically similar cover of two reed/rush species and vegetation height. After 13–54 years, tidally restored plots had lower cordgrass cover than natural marshes (2 vs 20%) and a lower density of plant stems overall (3 vs 35 stems/100 cm2). However, there was no significant difference between tidally restored and natural areas in cover of common reed Phragmites australis (both <1% on average), saltmarsh rush Juncus gerardii (both <1% on average) or maximum vegetation height (restored: 45 cm; natural: 40 cm). Methods: Across summer 2007 and 2008, vegetation was surveyed in 33 plots (each 1 ha) spread across 15 salt marshes. Tidal exchange had been restored to 14 plots 13–54 years previously (no further details reported). The other 19 plots contained natural salt marsh vegetation. Vegetation cover was estimated in nine 1-m2 quadrats/plot, stem density in forty-five 100 cm quadrats/plot and vegetation height at 36 points/plot.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references

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