Richardson, C.J., and K. Nunnery. 1998. Field investigations of wetland functional indicators after highway construction. Pp. 359-372 in: McComb, A.J., and J.A. Davis (eds.).  Wetlands for the Future: Contributions from INTECOL's 5th International Wetland Conference, 1998.   Gleneagles Publishing, Adelaide. 

Abstract. The selection and quantification of key indicators of change in wetland functions: (1) hydrologic flux and water storage, (2) plant productivity, (3) biogeochemical cycling and nutrient storage, (4) organic matter decomposition, and (5) community/wildlife habitat were made for a forested wetland affected by highway construction.  The functional responses of impacted wetlands were compared with a non-impacted "reference" wetland, first by measuring various indicators of wetland functions and then by choosing the indicators which illustrated functional differences most clearly.  An ecosystem level response surface model was developed and compared for disturbed and undisturbed wetlands.  Analyses of field measurement data for wetland functional indicators suggest that only water surface elevation, water depth, and tree stand density and mortality were indicative of changes in wetland functional change due to the presence of highways.  Decomposition rate, sedimentation rate and nutrient storage may be more useful as indicators under the actual highway construction phase of highways when comparing wetland ecosystem functional change among sites.

Reproduced with kind permission from Gleaneagles Publishing

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