Skip to main content

Marsh community development in a central Florida phosphate surface-mined reclaimed wetland

Abstract

As the nation’s acreage of productive freshwater marsh/wetlands continues to decrease the need for sucessful marsh restoration/reclamation increases. A variety of land uses including surface mining, residential development and agriculture create direct impacts on wetlands often resulting in a net loss of habitat if appropriate restoration or reclamation of the ecosystem is not obtained within a reasonable period of time. The 30 hectare freshwater marsh reclaimed from a phosphate mined area is part of a 148 hectare upland, 61 hectare wetland ecosystem (Agrico Swamp) reclaimed in 1981/82. Topsoil additions have been a successful means of establishing a marsh system within the site. This technique shows distinct advantages over natural revegetation of overburden. At the end of two full growing seasons the topsoiled area has higher species richness and cover values than the overburden areas. During this period a slight decline in the species richness in the topsoiled area was evident due in part to the aggressive nature ofPontederia cordata. Conversely, the species richness of the overburden areas increased significantly. Topsoiling appears to encourage the accelerated establisment of late successional plants in sufficient quantities to compete with aggressive weedy species such asTypha latifolia.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Literature Cited

  • Best, G.R., P.M. Wallace, and W.J. Dunn, 1983. Enhancing Ecological Succession: 4. Growth, Density, and Species Richness of Forest Communities Established from Seed on Amended Overburden Soils, Proceedings, National Symposium on Surface Mining, Hydrology, Sedimentology, and Reclamation, Office of Continuing Education, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. 7 pp.

  • Best, G.R. and K.L. Erwin, 1984, Effects of Hydroperiod on Survival and Growth of Tree Seedlings in a Phosphate Surface-Mined Reclaimed Wetland. National Symposium on Surface Mining, Hydrology, Sedimentology, and Reclamation, University of Kentucky, Lexington, K.Y. pp 221–225.

  • Clewell, A.F. 1981. Vegetational Restoration Techniques on Reclaimed Phosphate Strip Mines in Florida, J. Soc. Wetland Sci. 1:158–170.

    Google Scholar 

  • Connell, J.H., and R.O. Slayter. 1977. Mechanisims of succession in natural communities and their role in community stability and organization. The Amer Natur. 1977 Vol. iii, pp. 1119–1144.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dunn, W.J. and G.R. Best. 1983. Enhancing Ecological Succession: 5. Seed Bank Survey of Some Florida Marshes and the Role of Seed Banks in Marsh Reclamation, Proceedings, National Symposium on Surface Mining, Hydrology, Sedimentology, and Reclamation, Office of Continuing Education, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. pp. 365–370.

  • Erwin, Kevin L. 1983. First Annual Report. Agrico Mining Company, Bartow, Florida. 255 pp.

  • Erwin, K.L., G.R. Best, W.J. Dunn, and P.M. Wallace, 1984. Marsh and Forested Wetland Reclamation of a Central Florida Phosphate Mine. Wetland Vol. 4 pp. 87–104.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gilbert, T., T. King, B. Barnett, J. Allen, Jr., and R. Hearon. 1979. Wetlands Reclamation Technology Development and Demonstration for Florida Phosphate Mining, Proceedings (D.P. Cole, ed.) 6th Annual Conference on Restoration and Creation of Wetlands, Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, FL. 6:87–101.

  • Phillips, E.A. 1959. Methods of Vegetation Study Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., New York. 107 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rushton, B.T. 1983. Examples of Natural Wetland Succession as a Reclamation Alternative,in Reclamation and the Phosphate Industry, Proceedings of the Symposium, Clearwater Beach. FL. D.J. Robertson, ed. pp. 148–189.

  • Shuey, A.J., and L.J. Swanson, Jr. 1979. Creation of Freshwater Marshes in West Central Florida. Proc Ann. Confr. Restoration and Creation of Wetlands 6:57–76.

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith, R.L. 1980. Ecology and Field Biology. Harper and Row, New York, 850 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tarver, D.P., J.A. Rodgers, M.J. Mahler, and R.L. Lazor, 1979. “Aquatic Wetland Plants of Florida”, Bureau of Aquatic Plant Research and Control. FDNR.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Erwin, K.L., Ronnie Best, G. Marsh community development in a central Florida phosphate surface-mined reclaimed wetland. Wetlands 5, 155–166 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03160794

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03160794

Keywords

  • Erwin
  • Wetland Reclamation
  • Emergent Zone
  • Mulch Area
  • Overburden Area