Energetic implications of floodplain wetland restoration strategies for waterfowl

Sarah E. McClain, Heath M. Hagy, Christopher S. Hine, Aaron P. Yetter, Christopher N. Jacques, John W. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Modifications of the Illinois River and associated tributaries have resulted in altered hydrologic cycles and persistent river-floodplain connections during the growing season that frequently impede the establishment of hydrophytic vegetation and have reduced value for migratory waterfowl and other waterbirds. To help guide floodplain restoration, we compared energetic carrying capacity for waterfowl in two wetland complexes along the Illinois River under different management regimes during 2012–2015. The south pool of Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge (CNWR) was seasonally flooded due to a partial river connection and managed for moist-soil vegetation. Emiquon Preserve was hydrologically isolated from the Illinois River by a high-elevation levee and managed as a semipermanently flooded emergent marsh. Semipermanent emergent marsh management at Emiquon Preserve produced 5,495 energetic use-days (EUD)/ha for waterfowl and other waterbirds across wetland cover types and years, and seasonal moist-soil management at CNWR produced 6,199 EUD/ha in one of 4 years. At Emiquon Preserve, the aquatic bed cover type produced 9,660 EUD/ha, followed by 5,261 EUD/ha in moist-soil, 1,398 EUD/ha in persistent emergent, 1,185 EUD/ha in hemi-marsh, and 12 EUD/ha in open water cover types. At CNWR, the annual grass and sedge cover type produced 7,031 EUD/ha, followed by 5,618 EUD/ha in annual broadleaf and 1,305 EUD/ha in perennial grass cover types. Restoration of floodplain wetlands in isolation from frequent flood pulses during the growing season can produce hemi-marsh and aquatic bed vegetation communities that provide high-quality habitat for waterfowl and which have been mostly eliminated from large river systems in the Midwest, U.S.A.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-177
Number of pages10
JournalRestoration Ecology
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Fingerprint

waterfowl
Illinois River
floodplains
marshes
floodplain
wetlands
energetics
wetland
preserves
conservation areas
water birds
rivers
growing season
grasses
marsh
vegetation
hydrologic cycle
aquatic plants
carrying capacity
soil management

Keywords

  • carrying capacity
  • connectivity
  • emergent marsh
  • flood pulse
  • river
  • waterbird

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

McClain, S. E., Hagy, H. M., Hine, C. S., Yetter, A. P., Jacques, C. N., & Simpson, J. W. (2019). Energetic implications of floodplain wetland restoration strategies for waterfowl. Restoration Ecology, 27(1), 168-177. https://doi.org/10.1111/rec.12818

Energetic implications of floodplain wetland restoration strategies for waterfowl. / McClain, Sarah E.; Hagy, Heath M.; Hine, Christopher S.; Yetter, Aaron P.; Jacques, Christopher N.; Simpson, John W.

In: Restoration Ecology, Vol. 27, No. 1, 01.2019, p. 168-177.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McClain, SE, Hagy, HM, Hine, CS, Yetter, AP, Jacques, CN & Simpson, JW 2019, 'Energetic implications of floodplain wetland restoration strategies for waterfowl', Restoration Ecology, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 168-177. https://doi.org/10.1111/rec.12818
McClain, Sarah E. ; Hagy, Heath M. ; Hine, Christopher S. ; Yetter, Aaron P. ; Jacques, Christopher N. ; Simpson, John W. / Energetic implications of floodplain wetland restoration strategies for waterfowl. In: Restoration Ecology. 2019 ; Vol. 27, No. 1. pp. 168-177.
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