An additional benefit of the WRSIS Project, beyond water quality improvements, is the wetland habitat created as part of the water treatment system. Once constructed, no wetland species were planted at the sites. Wetland species were expected to migrate to the site from other wetlands in the proximity of the constructed wetlands. Vegetation surveys performed from 1998-2001 indicate the presence of the following wetland species: Salix exigua Nutt., Echinochloa crusgalli (L.) P. Beauv., Scirpus atrovirens Willd., Phalaris arundinaceae L., Polygonum persicaria L., Carex vulpinoidea Michx. Non-wetland species present include: Phleum pratense L., Medicago sativa L., Dactylis glomerata L. Bromus sp. and Festuca sp. (Luckeydoo, 2002). This vegetation serves as cover and breeding habitat for a diverse number of wetland species including, dragonflies (odenates), gray tree frogs (Hyla versicolor), and mallards (Anas platrhynchos).
Populations of dragonflies and damselflies are indicators of good water quality (Brown, et. al., 2000). Of the three sites, the Defiance county site has the most diverse population of dragonflies (19 species). The Fulton County site has 13 dragonfly species. This lower diversity may be due to this wetland’s distance from similar habitat and its eutrophic condition. The Van Wert site is less diverse with 9 dragonfly species.
At the Defiance county site, the algae in the wetland has been sampled for the past three years (200-2003) from early spring to late fall. Approximately 80 genera in 7 divisions have been identified to date. These divisions include: Bacillariophyta, Chlorophyta, Cryptophyta, Crysophyta, Cyanobacteria, Dinophyta, and Euglenophyta. Based on initial biovolume analysis, diatoms (Bacillariophyta) and green algae (Chlorophyta) are the dominants. Peaks in biomass occur in July and September. No significant difference (p<0.05) has been found in biomass or genera composition between the water entering the wetland and the water leaving the wetland. This may be due to the relatively small area of the wetland (0.12 ha).
Final Report 2003
An Inventory of Wildlife at Two Constructed Wetland Sites
Biology Department of the University of Findlay