Study

Implications of coastal wetland management to nonbreeding waterbirds in Texas

  • Published source details Fitzsimmons O.N., Ballard B.M., Merendino M.T., Baldassarre G.A. & Hartke K.M. (2012) Implications of coastal wetland management to nonbreeding waterbirds in Texas. Wetlands, 32, 1057-1066.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Disturb soil/sediment surface: brackish/salt marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Actively manage water level: brackish/salt marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Disturb soil/sediment surface: brackish/salt marshes

    A replicated, paired, site comparison study in 2007–2009 of eight brackish/salt marshes in Texas, USA (Fitzsimmons et al. 2012) found that managed marshes (disked every spring, along with a spring/autumn drawdown) and unmanaged marshes (subjected to neither of these interventions) had few plant species in common, but had similar overall plant species richness and diversity. Only 24–34% of plant species were found in both managed and unmanaged marshes (reported as a similarity index). However, both marsh types had statistically similar plant species richness (six of six comparisons; managed: 12–21 species/marsh; unmanaged: 8–18 species/marsh) and plant diversity (six of six comparisons; data reported as a diversity index). Methods: In autumn, winter and spring 2007/2008 and 2008/2009, vegetation was surveyed in four pairs of managed and unmanaged marshes (fifty-six 1-m2 quadrats/marsh, placed along transects). In the managed marshes, the soil surface was disked every spring for 6–9 years. The managed marshes had also been impounded to control water levels and salinity (drawdown each spring-autumn). The study does not distinguish between the effects of three interventions. All marshes were grazed each summer and burned every three years. The marshes were brackish in 2007/2008 (managed: <2 ppt; unmanaged: <10 ppt) but saline in 2008/2009 following a hurricane and storm surge (e.g. average salinity in managed marshes: 20 ppt).

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Actively manage water level: brackish/salt marshes

    A replicated, paired, site comparison study in 2007–2009 of eight brackish/salt marshes in Texas, USA (Fitzsimmons et al. 2012) found that managed marshes (impounded and drawn down each spring/autumn, along with annual disking) and unmanaged marshes (subjected to neither of these interventions) had few plant species in common, but had similar overall plant species richness and diversity. Only 24–34% of plant species were found in both managed and unmanaged marshes (reported as a similarity index). However, both marsh types had statistically similar plant species richness (six of six comparisons; managed: 12–21 species/marsh; unmanaged: 8–18 species/marsh) and plant diversity (six of six comparisons; data reported as a diversity index). Methods: In autumn, winter and spring 2007/2008 and 2008/2009, vegetation was surveyed in four pairs of managed and unmanaged marshes (fifty-six 1-m2 quadrats/marsh, placed along transects). The managed marshes had been impounded for 6–9 years to control water levels and salinity (drawdown each spring-autumn) and the soil surface was disked every spring. The study does not distinguish between the effects of these interventions. All marshes were grazed each summer and burned every three years. The marshes were brackish in 2007/2008 (managed: <2 ppt; unmanaged: <10 ppt) but saline in 2008/2009 following a hurricane and storm surge (e.g. average salinity in managed marshes: 20 ppt).

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust