Restoration and Creation of Freshwater and Estuarine Wetlands


The restoration and creation of freshwater and estuarine wetlands are important practices designed to increase wetland acreage and mitigate for the extensive losses of wetland area all over the world. Wetland restoration, defined as the reestablishment of wetlands where they once existed, and wetland creation, where entirely new wetlands are established in upland locations, require an understanding of hydrology, soils and landscape setting to foster the development of native biotic communities, including vegetation, invertebrates and amphibians. Restoration projects may take decades to fully develop; success may be measured by comparison of key indicators with natural wetlands.

Keywords: wetland restoration; wetland creation; aquatic plants; hydric soils; amphibians

Figure 1.

Examples of (a) freshwater wetland creation project in central Ohio, USA (with monitoring well shown in centre of open water area) and (b) estuarine wetland restoration project in an urban area near San Francisco Bay, CA, USA. Photos by (a) E Herbert and (b) S Fennessy.

Figure 2.

Zonation in estuarine wetlands showing gradients of salinity and elevation. Copyright 2004, Mitsch and Jorgensen , reprinted with permission of Wiley.

Figure 3.

Flooding acts as an environmental filter in this model of plant species composition in wetlands. Reproduced with permission of the Ecological Society of America from van der Valk .

Figure 4.

Comparison of total invertebrate taxa and total Chronomid taxa in a study of 9 natural and 10 restored wetlands. From Fennessy et al..



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Fennessy, M Siobhan, and Herbert, Ellen R(Apr 2008) Restoration and Creation of Freshwater and Estuarine Wetlands. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020470]