Study

Changes in salt marsh vegetation, Phragmites australis, and nekton in response to increased tidal flushing in a New England salt marsh

  • Published source details Buschbaum R.N., Catena J., Hutchins E. & James-Pirri M.-J. (2006) Changes in salt marsh vegetation, Phragmites australis, and nekton in response to increased tidal flushing in a New England salt marsh. Wetlands, 26, 544-557

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Facilitate tidal exchange to restore degraded brackish/salt marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Facilitate tidal exchange to restore degraded brackish/salt marshes

    A before-and-after, site comparison study in 1997–2002 of three salt marshes in Massachusetts, USA (Buschbaum et al. 2006) found that widening a culvert to improve tidal exchange altered the plant community composition and reduced the height of common reed Phragmites australis. In one marsh, the overall plant community composition was significantly different in the four years after tidal restoration than before (data not reported). Species experiencing large changes in frequency included common reed (present at only 24% of sampled points after restoration, vs 40% before), narrowleaf cattail Typha angustifolia (6% after vs 18% before) and Spartina alterniflora (28% after vs 17% before). The frequency of dominant saltmeadow cordgrass Spartina patens did not clearly change (50% after vs 46% before). These frequency results are not based on assessments of statistical significance. Common reed was significantly shorter after tidal restoration (60–85 cm) than before (140–155 cm). In two adjacent natural marshes, plant community composition, species frequencies and common reed height were stable over time (see original paper). Methods: In 1998, a small culvert was replaced with a bigger one to increase tidal exchange in a degraded, reed-invaded, coastal marsh. Plant species and reed height were recorded for two years before and four years after intervention, along 4–9 transects in the restored marsh and two natural marsh areas.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references

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, terrestrial 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