Study

Interim responses of floodplain wetland vegetation to Phase I of the Kissimmee River Restoration Project: comparisons of vegetation maps from five periods in the river's history

  • Published source details Spencer L.J. & Bousquin S.G. (2014) Interim responses of floodplain wetland vegetation to Phase I of the Kissimmee River Restoration Project: comparisons of vegetation maps from five periods in the river's history. Restoration Ecology, 22, 397-408

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

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

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

    A before-and-after study in 1954–2008 in Florida, USA (Spencer & Bousquin 2014) reported that after dechannelizing a river to rewet the floodplain, the area of shrubby and forested wetlands increased. After roughly 3–8 years of rewetting, shrub-dominated wetlands covered 17–18% of the floodplain (vs 3–4% in a degraded state before rewetting, and 1% in the natural state before degradation). Most of the shrubby wetland area after rewetting was dominated by invasive Peruvian water primrose Ludwigia peruviana, which was not present before degradation. Mixed shrubby/herbaceous wetlands covered 7–18% of the floodplain after rewetting (vs 3–15% before rewetting and 52% before degradation). Coverage of forested wetlands was also greater after rewetting than before rewetting or degradation (data reported as maps). In total, wetland vegetation (shrubby, forested, herbaceous and submerged) covered 65–83% of the floodplain after rewetting (vs 22–37% before rewetting and 84% before degradation). Methods: Between 1999 and 2001, Section C of the Kissimmee River was dechannelized. This restored its natural meandering course, raised the water table on the adjacent floodplain and allowed for seasonal floods. Floodplain vegetation was mapped from aerial photographs taken before degradation (1954), during degradation (1974, 1996) and after restoration (2003, 2008). This study used the same rewetted floodplain section as (2).

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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

    A before-and-after study in 1954–2008 in Florida, USA (Spencer & Bousquin 2014) reported that after dechannelizing a river to rewet the floodplain, the area of wet prairie and mixed marsh/shrubby wetland vegetation increased. After roughly 3–8 years of rewetting, wet prairie vegetation covered 33–39% of the floodplain (vs 13–15% in a degraded state before rewetting, and 29% in the natural state before degradation). Mixed herbaceous/shrubby wetlands covered 7–18% the floodplain (vs 3–15% before rewetting and 52% before degradation). In total, wetland vegetation (herbaceous, shrubby, forested and submerged) covered 65–83% of the floodplain after rewetting (vs 22–37% before rewetting and 84% before degradation). Methods: Between 1999 and 2001, Section C of the Kissimmee River was dechannelized. This restored its natural meandering course, raised the water table on the adjacent floodplain and allowed for seasonal floods. Floodplain vegetation was mapped from aerial photographs taken before degradation (1954), during degradation (1974, 1996) and after restoration (2003, 2008). This study used the same rewetted floodplain section as (20), (22), (24) and (26).

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references

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