Study

Composition and biomass productivity of bryophyte assemblages in natural and restored marshes in the prairie pothole region of Northern Minnesota

  • Published source details Fuselier L.C., Donarski D., Novacek J., Rastedt D. & Peyton C. (2012) Composition and biomass productivity of bryophyte assemblages in natural and restored marshes in the prairie pothole region of Northern Minnesota. Wetlands, 32, 1067-1078.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reprofile/relandscape: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Raise water level to restore/create freshwater marshes from other land uses

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Reprofile/relandscape: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2011 of 27 freshwater marshes in Minnesota, USA (Fuselier et al. 2012) reported that excavated marshes typically had lower bryophyte species richness, frequency and biomass than natural marshes. Unless specified, statistical significance was not assessed. Excavated marshes were 2–15 years old. They contained 1–9 bryophyte species in total (vs natural marshes: 8–12), 1.6–3.2 bryophyte species/0.36 m2 (vs natural: 3.3; significantly lower in one of two comparisons) and 0.3–0.6 bryophyte species/0.36 m2 in the wettest areas (vs natural: 0.8). In excavated marshes, bryophytes occurred in 7–41% of sampled 100-cm2 quadrats (vs natural: 20–55%) and bryophyte biomass was <1–4 g/100 cm2 (vs natural: 2–5%). For data on the frequency of individual species, see original paper. Methods: In summer 2011, aquatic and semi-aquatic bryophytes were surveyed in 27 marshes: 18 excavated and nine natural. The natural marshes had burned in spring 2009 or 2011. Bryophyte species were recorded across the whole of each marsh and in twenty-four 0.36-m2 quadrats/marsh (placed along four transects from wetland to upland areas). All bryophytes were collected from twenty 100-cm2 quadrats in three excavated marshes and one natural, then dried and weighed.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Raise water level to restore/create freshwater marshes from other land uses

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2011 of 15 freshwater marshes in Minnesota, USA (Fuselier et al. 2012) found that rewetted marshes had lower bryophyte species richness than natural marshes after 34 years, but contained a similar frequency of bryophytes. Rewetted marshes contained only 3–6 bryophyte species in total (vs natural marshes: 8–12). Rewetted marshes also contained significantly fewer bryophyte species per quadrat: across the whole marsh (rewetted 1.7; natural: 3.3 species/0.36 m2) and in the wettest areas (rewetted: 0.6; natural: 0.8 species/0.36 m2). However, rewetted marshes supported a statistically similar frequency of bryophytes (occurrence in 44% of subquadrats in the wettest areas) to natural marshes (55%). Kneiff’s feathermoss Leptodictyum riparium was the most abundant bryophyte species in both rewetted and natural marshes (see original paper for full data). Methods: In summer 2011, aquatic and semi-aquatic bryophytes were surveyed in 15 marshes. Six marshes were historically drained and farmed, but had been rewetted 34 years previously by blocking drainage ditches. The other nine marshes were natural (never drained or farmed). Five of the natural marshes burned in April 2011. Bryophyte species were recorded across the whole of each marsh and in twenty-four 0.36-m2 quadrats/marsh (split into 100-cm2 subquadrats, and placed along four transects from wetter to drier areas).

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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