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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Passive Establishment of Vegetation in Constructed Wetlands in Agricultural Settings: a Case Study

Authors
item Luckeydoo, Lee
item Fausey, Norman
item Davis, C - OHIO STATE UNIV
item Regnier, E - OHIO STATE UNIV
item Brown, L - OHIO STATE UNIV

Submitted to: Ohio Journal of Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 2006
Publication Date: November 1, 2006
Citation: Luckeydoo, L.M., Fausey, N.R., Davis, C.B., Regnier, E., Brown, L.C. 2006. Passive establishment of vegetation in constructed wetlands in agricultural settings: a case study. Ohio Journal of Science. 106(4):164-168.

Interpretive Summary: Wetlands are being constructed to provide benefits to the environment including improvement of water quality and increased wildlife habitat. The benefits of these wetlands are determined in part by the amount and types of vegetation that develops within the constructed wetland. Three wetlands constructed adjacent to agricultural fields in northwest Ohio in 1995 were not planted or seeded, but developed vegetation by a natural process called passive revegetation. Surveys of on-site vegetation complied yearly during 1998-2001 identified 77 species of vegetation that had established at one or more of the wetlands. Approximately 40% of these species belong to the group of plants known as wetland indicator species (Ohio region), and about 80% of those identified as wetland indicator species were native to the Ohio region. Half of the dominant species at each location were species typically found growing in wetland conditions. The dominant species found in these wetlands indicate that primary seed sources for development of vegetation are from the local surroundings, and that planting or seeding sites soon after construction may increase the rate of revegetation and variety of wetland species that can develop. Managers of constructed wetlands, sedimentation ponds, or similarly designed basin can get a better understanding of what types of non-planted vegetation may develop in such basins, and suggestions of wetland species for use in erosion control plantings are included.

Technical Abstract: Three wetlands constructed in 1995 on land adjacent to agricultural fields in northwest Ohio were allowed to establish vegetation passively. Survey data collected, 1998-2001, from quadrats in open water, frequently submerged and infrequently submerged zones within the basin, identified 77 species over the three sites. Greatest species diversity occurred in the infrequently and frequently submerged zones. The dominant species within the wetlands originated from local agricultural fields, nearby drainage ditches and streams, and the seeded erosion control buffer zones surrounding the wetlands. Six years following construction, than 50% of the dominant species were wetland species. Results suggest that for constructed wetlands in agricultural settings, plantings or seeding of desired species will be required to supplement the existing sources of wetland vegetation species.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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