Mulching effects on the seasonally flooded zone of west-central Florida, USA wetlands

  • Published source details Anderson C.J. & Cowell B.C. (2004) Mulching effects on the seasonally flooded zone of west-central Florida, USA wetlands. Wetlands, 24, 811-819.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Transplant wetland soil before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Transplant wetland soil before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated, site comparison study in 1999–2000 of the ephemeral marsh zone in 33 created freshwater wetlands in Florida, USA (Anderson & Cowell 2004) found that adding marsh soil before planting marsh vegetation created a plant community characteristic of wetter conditions and had season-specific effects on plant species richness and diversity, but had no significant effect on overall vegetation abundance. Whilst amended and unamended marshes both developed a wetland-characteristic plant community, the community in amended marshes was characteristic of significantly wetter conditions (data reported as a wetland indicator index). Amended marshes had 44–75% cover of wetland-characteristic plants (vs unamended marshes: 32–58%; statistical significance not assessed). In the wet season, plant species richness and diversity were similar or lower in amended marshes than unamended marshes (amended: 9; unamended: 11 species/m2; and diversity reported as an index). In the dry season, these metrics were similar or higher in amended marshes than unamended marshes (amended: 8; unamended: 7 species/m2; diversity reported as an index). Both treatments had statistically similar overall vegetation cover (amended: 54–83%; unamended: 49–76%) and above-ground biomass (amended: 87; unamended: 80 g/m2). Cover of plant groups (e.g. grasses/reeds, mosses, and tree/shrub seedlings) was generally similar in amended and unamended marshes (see original paper for data). Methods: Vegetation was surveyed in the marshy, seasonally flooded zone of 33 excavated wetlands (≥5 years old). All but one wetland had been planted with marsh vegetation (details not reported). Marsh soil had been spread on the surface of 17 of the sites, in a layer 15–30 cm thick. In November 1999 (wet season) and June 2000 (dry season), plant species and cover were recorded in three 1-m2 quadrats/marsh. In August 2000, vegetation was cut from three 0.25-m2 quadrats/marsh, then dried and weighed.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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