Although natural wetlands provide important ecosystem services such as flood control, carbon sequestration, and habitat for wetland plants and amphibians, it is uncertain to what degree restored wetlands provide these services. To this end, we assessed the hydrology, soils, vegetation, and anuran relative call frequency in a restored emergent floodplain wetland in west-central, Illinois. We employed a stratified random design to sample across a hydrologic gradient from wetter to drier zones in 3 cells of the wetland. We monitored surface water levels and found that cells 1 and 2 showed long periods of inundation, while cell 3 exhibited a more pulsed hydrology based on rainfall. Soil moisture content exhibited a significant trend across the hydrologic gradient, increasing from the drier to the wetter zones. We identified 46 plant species, 14 of which were planted as part of the restoration. Plant communities differed among cells, with cells 1 and 2 having more than 37% obligate wetland species, while cell 3 had only 22% obligate wetland species. Over 30 survey nights, we heard 10 anuran species calling and observed 1 Ambystoma (mole salamander). Hydrology played an important role in site usage by amphibians, especially in cell 3, where the absence of water precluded egg laying.
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Vol. 26 • No. 2