Trajectories of vegetation-based indicators used to assess wetland restoration progress

Published on Dec 1, 2009in Ecological Applications4.378
· DOI :10.1890/08-1371.1
Jeffrey Wayne Matthews19
Estimated H-index: 19
(INHS: Illinois Natural History Survey),
Greg Richard Spyreas16
Estimated H-index: 16
(INHS: Illinois Natural History Survey),
Anton G. Endress12
Estimated H-index: 12
(INHS: Illinois Natural History Survey)
Temporal trends in attributes of restored ecosystems have been described conceptually as restoration trajectories. Measures describing the maturity or ecological integrity of a restoration site are often assumed to follow monotonically increasing trajectories over time and to eventually reach an asymptote representative of a reference ecosystem. This assumption of simple, predictable restoration trajectories underpins federal and state policies in the United States that mandate wetland restoration as compensation for wetlands damaged during development. We evaluated the validity of this assumption by tracking changes in 11 indicators of floristic integrity, often used to determine legal compliance, in 29 mitigation wetlands. Each indicator was expressed as a percentile relative to the distribution of that indicator among >100 naturally occurring reference wetlands. Nonlinear regression was used to fit two alternative restoration trajectories to data from each site: an asymptotic (negative exponential) inc...
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