Vegetation dynamics across a chronosequence of created wetland sites in Virginia, USA

  • Published source details DeBerry D.A. & Perry J.E. (2012) Vegetation dynamics across a chronosequence of created wetland sites in Virginia, USA. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 20, 521-537.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore/create freshwater marshes or swamps (specific action unclear)

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Restore/create freshwater marshes or swamps (specific action unclear)

    A replicated study in 1989–2005 of 15 created wetlands in Virginia, USA (DeBerry & Perry 2012) reported that they had developed vegetation cover within 1–15 years of creation. On average, there were 29 plant species/site in the herbaceous layer and 6 plant species/site in the shrub/sapling layer. The herbaceous layer was dominated by perennial species (71% of species; 69% importance). The shrub/sapling layer was predominantly volunteer species (52% of species; 67% importance). None of these metrics significantly differed between sites of different ages. The same was true for plant diversity. Although there was typically no significant difference in overall plant community composition between sites of different ages, there was a general pattern of older communities (11–15 years old) returning to a composition more like younger communities (1–5 years old) after an intermediate (3–10 years old) shift in composition (data reported as graphical analyses and similarity indices). The dominant species also varied between sites of different ages (see original paper for data). Methods: In late summer 2004 or 2005, vegetation was surveyed in fifteen 1–17 ha depressional floodplain wetlands. All wetlands had been created 1–15 years previously with the intention that they would develop into swamps (precise details not reported or not available, but involving planting trees/shrubs and sowing grass to stabilize the soil). The herbaceous layer (herbs and trees/shrubs <1 m tall) was surveyed in fifteen 1-m2 quadrats/wetland. The shrub/sapling layer (plants >1 m tall) was surveyed in one 5-m-radius plot/wetland.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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