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10 April 2020 Plant colonization of a restored wetland in northern Kentucky: Contribution of seeding vs. natural sources
Richard L. Boyce, Richard D. Durtsche
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Despite their important ecosystem services, most wetlands in Kentucky and the surrounding region have been lost. Many restoration attempts have occurred, but the success of seeding or planting, which is often done after restoration, is unclear. To our knowledge, seeding success relative to other propagule inputs has never been quantified. We measured the restoration success of a four-year-old emergent open-canopy wetland, with seven adjacent ponds near the banks of the Ohio River in Kentucky. Potential restoration plant origins include (a) from the seedbank and surrounding area, (b) a native seed mix designed for upland and wetland restorations, and (c) from the onsite prerestoration wetland. We tested the hypotheses that elevation and distance from an established wetland pond are driving factors to establish species that dominate the wetland vegetative cover. Plant cover and relative elevation were determined in 78 1-m2 plots. Although most species (73%) came either from seedbank or offsite sources, the remainder appear to have come from seeding (14–16%) and the prerestoration wetland (11–14%), and the latter two sources accounted for almost 50% of the total cover at the site. Ordination supported the hypotheses that distance from the prerestoration pond and relative elevation were the two most important factors determining patterns of plant cover. Despite its modest contribution to plant diversity, the prerestoration pond had an important effect on plant patterns. While the site falls into Kentucky Wetland Rapid Assessment (KY-WRAM) Category 1 (most disturbed), prevalence index (PI) scores, which are based on species wetland classifications, appear to be similar to or higher than those of other created wetlands in the United States.

©Copyright 2020 by The Torrey Botanical Society
Richard L. Boyce and Richard D. Durtsche "Plant colonization of a restored wetland in northern Kentucky: Contribution of seeding vs. natural sources," The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 147(1), 9-21, (10 April 2020).
Published: 10 April 2020

coefficient of conservatism
invasive plants
nonnative plants
Ohio River
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