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Title: Mitigated wetland restoration : environmental effects at Green Bottom Wildlife Management Area, West Virginia
Authors: Evans, Dan K.
Allen, Hollis H.
Keywords: Wetland mitigation
Wetland soil characteristics
Wetland restoration
Wetland animal communities
Wetland plant communities
Environmental management
Wetland conservation
Restoration ecology
Green Bottom Wildlife Management Area
West Virginia
Publisher: U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station
Series/Report no.: Technical Report (Wetlands Research Program (U.S.)) ; no. Technical Report WRP-RE-10
Abstract: Many of the nation's freshwater wetlands have been lost to land develoiJment. There is a critical need for restoration efforts to reclaim some of these wetlands. This study examines nine aspects of a restoration project and the project's effect on the environment. (1.) Land use at the Green Bottom Wildlife Management Area (GBWMA) in the late 19th and 20th Centuries is analyzed. Wetlands are evaluated from a historical perspective from 1934 through 1994 in terms of diversity and size. Results indicate significant wetland destruction as farming intensity increased. (2.) A comprehensive analysis of vascular plants and plant communities at GBWMA is undertaken. Results define seven vegetation types. These vegetation types are arranged along a moister gradient: steamside forest, river flats, beach, new swale, old swale, marsh, and swamp. (3.) The physical and chemical parameters of the soil are examined. The examination includes changes in soil oxidation-reduction potential and texture, organic matter, pH, extractable macronutrients, and extractable micronutrients. Results indicate that mitigation wetland soils are developing toward true wetland soils following 8 months of inundation. However, mitigation soils lack some of the characteristics of hydromorphic soils, most notably are extractable Mn and P and higher organic matter. Therefore, it is concluded that 8 months is an insufficient period of time for a complete change in these soils. (4.) The practicality of establishing five woody species by direct planting of cuttings gathered from a nearby bottomland forest is assessed. The five species consist of 2 tree species, black willow (Salix nigra) and green ash (Fraximus pennsylvanica var. subintegerrima), and 3 shrub species, common alder (Alnus serrulata), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentialis), and silky dogwood (Cornus amomum). Results indicate that C. occidentalis, C. amomum, and S. nigra have a higher probability of success. (5.) Nitrogen availability using in situ incubations of soils taken from three distinct habitat conditions based on degree of inundation during wetland creation is evaluated. Results indicate that available N exhibits a substantial shift following inundation of old-field soils from relatively equal amounts of NO3 and NH4 to a near predominance of NH4. Also, extractable N is significantly greater following inundation of old-field soils because of the accumulation of N4-. (6.) The dynamics of 25 species of mosses and four species of liverworts in eight wetland communities located within the floodplain of the Ohio River are examined. Results indicate that the highest moss cover is from the families Amblystegiaceae and Brachytheciaceae. The liverwort with the greatest cover and largest number of species is from the family Ricciaceae. (7.) Resident odonate populations within GBWMA prior to habitat modification are examined. The results provide a species list as well as information concerning territoriality, mating behavior, and cannibalism in naiadal adonates. (8.) Reproductive activities of the local population of grass pickerel is examined. The results provide a baseline for managing the reproductive activities of the grass pickerel at GBWMA. (9.) Comparisons of the emergence and calling (breeding) period are made for the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) and the pickerel frog (Rana palustris) in the existing swamp and the created swamp. Also of interest is determining the emergence and calling period of all anurans at GBWMA. Results indicate that R. pipiens emerges in mid February and calls from early March to early April; R. palustis emerges in early to mid March and calls from early April to mid May. Eight species of frogs and toads have been found to breed at GBWMA. This represents one of the largest aggregations of breeding anurans known to occur in West Virginia. Documenting impacts of mitigation/restoration efforts on plant and animal communities is essential for increasing understanding of the ecological processes involved when natural or man-made changes occur in wetland and riparian communities. GBWMA is an important research, teaching, and recreational resource. The information gathered serves as a reference data bank for wetland restoration projects.
Description: Technical Report
Gov't Doc #: Technical Report WRP-RE-10
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Other Identifiers: en_US
Size: 229 pages
Types of Materials: PDF
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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