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Title: Floristic Quality Index of restored wetlands in coastal Louisiana
Authors: Suir, Glenn M.
Sasser, Charles E. (Charles Edward), 1950-
Keywords: Floristic quality
Wetland restoration
Ecosystem resilience
Adaptive management
Wetland condition
Coefficient of Conservatism
Restoration ecology
Environmental management
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: ERDC/EL;TR-17-15
Abstract: Restoration efforts in the United States have created or benefitted large expanses of wetlands. Typical goals of wetland restoration efforts are to conserve, create, or enhance wetland form and to achieve wetland function that approaches natural conditions. Measures of wetland condition have been used to monitor and assess project performance, resilience, and adaptive management needs. An emerging tool for performing bioassessments in wetland systems is the Floristic Quality Index (FQI). This study assessed the use of a modified FQI (FQImod) to evaluate site development, plant community establishment, and wetland condition. Three restoration sites in coastal Louisiana were used to evaluate the utility of an FQImod for assessing the performance and resilience of restored wetlands by comparison to reference wetlands. Results demonstrate that the FQImod data successfully reflected large disturbance events — namely hurricanes and salinity spikes. The data also identified vegetation differences due to elevation, age, and hydrology. The modified FQI provided useful measures of restoration type (e.g., planted versus not planted, marsh creation versus nourishment), chronosequence (condition and stability over time), and trajectory (i.e., intersecting trend lines when restored marsh FQI approaches reference marsh condition). The FQImod provides a rapid and effective system for assessing wetland condition and performance.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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