Since the late 1980s, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has helped restore hundreds of wetlands in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, in an effort to enhance the production of waterfowl and other wetland associated species. During summer 2004, we re-examined 11 restorations to determine how their plant communities had changed since 1992. In addition, we re-evaluated waterfowl and anuran communities at eight restorations. Because 1992 data were compiled from separate studies, all three groups of organisms were simultaneously examined at only two wetlands. Significant decreases in plant diversity and plant species richness were detected between 1992 and 2004, while significant increases were detected for species classified as obligate or facultative wet. These changes suggest that the plant communities at the restorations have matured since 1992. Use of the wetlands by waterfowl and anurans, on the other hand, did not exhibit significant change over this period. Regular monitoring of restorations over even longer periods will provide new insights into the way in which restored communities develop and whether current restoration methods have succeeded in establishing stable, species-rich wetland communities.
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Vol. 27 • No. 4