Conceptual assessment framework for forested wetland restoration: the Pen Branch experience
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Ecological Engineering. Vol. 15 p. S17-S21. (2000)
Development of an assessment framework and associated indicators that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a wetland restoration is critical to demonstrating the sustainability of restored sites. Current wetland restoration assessment techniques such as the index of biotic integrity (IBI) or the hydrogeomorphic method (HGM) generally focus on either the biotic or abiotic components of wetlands. In addition, current methods generally rely on qualitative, or semi-quantitative rankings in the assessment. We propose a quantitative, ecosystem level assessment method similar to that developed by the US EPA's Wetland Research Program (WRP approach) that includes both biotic and abiotic metrics. Similar to the IBI and HGM approaches, biotic and abiotic parameters are compared to those of reference communities, however, the proposed comparisons are quantitative. In developing the assessment method, bottomland reference systems at various stages of succession were compared to a recently restored site in South Carolina (Pen branch). Studies involving hydrology, soil organic matter and nutrient dynamics, vegetation communities, seedling establishment and competition, and avian, small mammal, herpetofauna, fish and macroinvertebrate communities were implemented. In this paper, we discuss the conceptual framework in which we developed our assessment technique.
Keywordsbiotic integrity, hydrogeomorphic method, wetland restoration, WEtland Research Program
Kolka, Randy K.; Nelson, E. A.; Trettin, C. C. 2000. Conceptual assessment framework for forested wetland restoration: the Pen Branch experience. Ecological Engineering. Vol. 15 p. S17-S21. (2000)