Floristic quality assessment of one natural and three restored wetland complexes in North Dakota, USA

  • Published source details Mushet D.M., Euliss N.H. & Shaffer T.L. (2002) Floristic quality assessment of one natural and three restored wetland complexes in North Dakota, USA. Wetlands, 22, 126-138.


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, site comparison study in 1995 of 53 prairie pothole wetlands across four complexes in North Dakota, USA (Mushet et al. 2002) found that restored wetlands contained lower quality vegetation and fewer native plant species than natural wetlands after 2–8 years, but a similar total number of plant species to natural wetlands after 5–8 years. In all three restored complexes, the native wetland vegetation was of lower quality (i.e. less characteristic of undisturbed local habitats) than in a natural complex (data reported as conservatism scores and a floristic quality index). However, vegetation quality increased with time since restoration. In all three restored complexes, wetlands contained fewer regional native plant species (27–34 species/wetland) than wetlands in the natural complex (44 species/wetland). However, in the two oldest restored complexes, wetlands contained a similar number of plant species in total (50–51 species/wetland) to wetlands in the natural complex (56 species/wetland). For data on the frequency of individual plant species, see original paper. Methods: In summer 1995, plant species were recorded in 53 depressional wetlands. There were 11–14 wetlands in each of three complexes restored two, five and eight years previously. Restoration methods were not clearly reported, but involved reseeding grasslands around the wetlands. No native wetland species were planted. Sixteen wetlands were within a natural, relatively undisturbed wetland complex. Restored wetlands spanned a similar range of sizes and flooding regimes to the natural wetlands.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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