Amphibians as wetland restoration indicators on wetland reserve program sites in Lower Grand River Basin, Missouri

Date Published: 

Friday, January 1, 2010


Paper Summary/Abstract: 

This study focused on amphibians using different Wetland Reserve Easement design strategies in the Lower Grand River basin.
The goal was to determine if hydrological and biological wetland characteristics had been restored to Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) sites in the Lower Grand River basin, north-central Missouri, based on distribution, recruitment success, and relative species richness estimates for members of a regional species pool. Three design strategies applied to WRE sites over time: walk-away, maximize hydrology, and naturalistic; the latter emphasizing restoring process as well as structure; and evaluated if design strategy was a useful covariate for restoration efforts. Ten amphibian species, representing 59% of the regional species pool, were encountered. Design strategy was not a predictive site-level covariate as sites within all three design strategies had varying hydrological wetland conditions resulting in greater habitat heterogeneity than anticipated on maximize hydrology and walk-away sites and less than anticipated on naturalistic sites. Targeting management actions that result in suitable seasonal wetland habitat conditions (shallow, vegetated wetlands that gradually dry by mid-to late-summer) throughout the time needed for species to complete their life history requirements is one method to increase the biological wetland value of restored WRE sites.

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