Journal of Biodiversity Management & ForestryISSN: 2327-4417

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Enhancing Biodiversity by Restoring Wetland Vegetation Communities in Irrigation Ponds

Enhancing Biodiversity by Restoring Wetland Vegetation Communities in Irrigation Ponds

The survival and establishment rates of five different densities and compositions of Scirpus atrovirens, Carex lacustris and Sagittaria latifolia were tested in a pilot study at two irrigation ponds in the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada. Robust emergent wetland species were monitored to determine community assembly principles for water quality and biodiversity improvement in irrigation ponds. Growth trait and survival measurements were taken every two weeks in the growing season of 2011. A vegetation inventory occurred four times throughout the growing season. Using multivariate repeated measures analysis of variance (MANOVAR) we found that S. latifolia is capable of interspecific competition when planted in mixed plot plantings in semi-naturalized ponds. We found that S. atrovirens was more competitive in monoculture plantings in a pond community comprised of agricultural weed species. It is more difficult to establish C. lacustris making it a less suitable choice for restoration plantings in irrigation ponds. The findings suggest pre-restoration community composition will influence the survival establishment rates of some wetland plant species. Pond age may be an important determinant in the vegetative community composition in irrigation ponds.

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