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1 September 2004 Primary Succession in a Created Freshwater Wetland
Douglas A. DeBerry, James E. Perry
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Plant cover, density, and standing crop biomass were measured and compared in a created wetland and an adjacent freshwater marsh (reference wetland) in Charles City County, Virginia. No significant difference was observed between monthly standing crop in the created wetland and the reference wetland. Species composition differed between sites (mean SI < 0.50) with no significant relationship between species composition and distance from adjacent seed source. Dominant species in the created wetland (Eleocharis obtusa, Juncus acuminatus) were dissimilar to those of the reference wetland (Dichanthelium dichotomum var. dichotomum, Scirpus cyperinus). Results suggest that if both standing crop and composition are going to be used to establish short-term goals for a created wetland, these two measures should not be considered interdependent. Further, the high relative importance of perennials within the created wetland does not fit primary succession predictions, indicating that certain wetland perennials utilize “annual” strategies when substrates are available. Management alternatives should accommodate establishment of these species, which are important in early successional development of created wetland sites.

Douglas A. DeBerry and James E. Perry "Primary Succession in a Created Freshwater Wetland," Castanea 69(3), 185-193, (1 September 2004).<0185:PSIACF>2.0.CO;2
Received: 8 May 2003; Accepted: 1 October 2003; Published: 1 September 2004
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