Study

Management of ecological thresholds to re-establish disturbance-maintained herbaceous wetlands of the south-eastern USA

  • Published source details Martin K.L. & Katherine K.L. (2009) Management of ecological thresholds to re-establish disturbance-maintained herbaceous wetlands of the south-eastern USA. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46, 906-914.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use herbicide to maintain or restore disturbance: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Cut large trees/shrubs to maintain or restore disturbance: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Use prescribed fire to maintain or restore disturbance: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Use herbicide to maintain or restore disturbance: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in 2000–2005 aiming to restore ephemeral freshwater marshes within pine forest in Georgia, USA (Martin & Kirkman 2009) found that applying herbicide to trees (along with cutting and prescribed burning) altered the overall plant community composition, favouring herbaceous and wetland-characteristic species. Over five years, the community composition of managed wetlands diverged significantly from that of unmanaged wetlands (data reported as a graphical analysis). This effect was stronger in the core of the wetlands than on the wetland-upland boundary. Of 26 plant taxa whose frequency increased in managed wetlands (statistical significance not assessed), 25 were herbs and 15 were obligate wetland taxa. Methods: In summer 2000, mature stands of oak Quercus spp. trees – that had developed following fire suppression – were removed from five depressional wetlands by cutting and/or applying herbicide (Pathway® and/or Imazapyr). Then, the wetlands were then burned three times (once every two years). The study does not distinguish between the effects of cutting, applying herbicide and prescribed burning. Five additional wetlands were not managed (trees not removed and no burning). Plant species presence/absence was recorded before (2000) and after (2005) intervention, in three to seven 100-m2 plots/wetland.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Cut large trees/shrubs to maintain or restore disturbance: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in 2000–2005 aiming to restore ephemeral freshwater marshes within pine forest in Georgia, USA (Martin & Kirkman 2009) found that cutting trees (along with applying herbicide and prescribed burning) altered the overall plant community composition, favouring herbaceous and wetland-characteristic species. Over five years, the community composition of managed wetlands diverged significantly from that of unmanaged wetlands (data reported as a graphical analysis). This effect was stronger in the core of the wetlands than on the wetland-upland boundary. Of 26 plant taxa whose frequency increased in managed wetlands (statistical significance not assessed), 25 were herbs and 15 were obligate wetland taxa. Methods: In summer 2000, mature stands of oak Quercus spp. trees (that had developed following fire suppression) were removed from five depressional wetlands by cutting and/or applying herbicide. Then, the wetlands were then burned three times (once every two years). The study does not distinguish between the effects of cutting, applying herbicide and prescribed burning. Five additional wetlands were not managed (trees not removed and no burning). Plant species presence/absence was recorded before (2000) and after (2005) intervention, in three to seven 100-m2 plots/wetland.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  3. Use prescribed fire to maintain or restore disturbance: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in 2000–2005 aiming to restore ephemeral freshwater marshes within pine forest in Georgia, USA (Martin & Kirkman 2009) found that prescribed burning (along with killing trees by cutting and applying herbicide) altered the overall plant community composition, favouring herbaceous and wetland-characteristic species. Over five years, the community composition of managed wetlands diverged significantly from that of unmanaged wetlands (data reported as a graphical analysis). This effect was stronger in the core of the wetlands than on the wetland-upland boundary. Of 26 plant taxa whose frequency increased in managed wetlands (statistical significance not assessed), 25 were herbs and 15 were obligate wetland taxa. Methods: Between 2000 and 2005, five depressional wetlands were burned three times (once every two years, matching the historical fire regime). In summer 2000, mature stands of fire-resistant trees (oak Quercus spp.) had been removed by cutting and/or applying herbicide. The study does not distinguish between the effects of burning and tree removal. Five additional wetlands were not managed (no burning and trees not removed). Plant species presence/absence was recorded before (2000) and after (2005) intervention, in three to seven 100-m2 plots/wetland.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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