Wetlands

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 945–953 | Cite as

Comparisons of Bird, Aquatic Macroinvertebrate, and Plant Communities Among Dredged Ponds and Natural Wetland Habitats at Long Point, Lake Erie, Ontario

  • Michael L. Schummer
  • Jason Palframan
  • Emily McNaughton
  • Ted Barney
  • Scott A. Petrie
Article

Abstract

Decreased wetland interspersion and need for dredging of lower Great Lakes coastal wetlands results from encroachment of open water by invasive cattail (Typha × glauca, T. angustifolia) and common reed (Phragmites australis). To increase wetland interspersion and fish and wildlife habitat at Long Point, Lake Erie, wetlands were dredged to restore open water ponds (0.4–4.0 ha ponds) in monotypic stands of cattail and common reed (hereafter cattail-reed), 2008–2010. We determined if bird, aquatic macroinvertebrate, and plant communities differed among dredged ponds, natural ponds, and areas of monotypic cattail-reed to investigate effects of dredging, May–August 2011. Marsh-bird relative abundance was 40 % greater at dredged and natural ponds than cattail-reed areas, and richness was at least 16 % greater at dredged ponds than natural ponds and cattail-reed areas. Relative abundance of macroinvertebrates was 77 % greater in dredged than natural ponds. Plant species richness was 57 and 54 % greater, respectively, and diversity 42 % greater at dredged ponds than natural ponds and cattail-reed areas. Our comparison of dredged ponds with natural wetland habitats highlights that dredging to restore interspersion and manage monotypic cattail-reed in lower Great Lakes wetlands can be beneficial to marsh-nesting birds and habitat resources used by fish and wildlife.

Keywords

Cattail Dredging Great Lakes coastal wetland Interspersion Phragmites Wetland restoration 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Financial support was provided by Long Point Waterfowl and Long Point Waterfowlers’ Association (J. Malcolm). Bird Studies Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (R. Thompson) provided logistical support. We thank K. Weaver for field assistance. D. Ankney, K. Abraham, S. Badzinski, R. Brook, S. Meyer, D. Wilcox provided helpful comments on earlier versions of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

13157_2012_328_MOESM1_ESM.doc (60 kb)
Appendix A(DOC 59 kb)
13157_2012_328_MOESM2_ESM.doc (68 kb)
Appendix B(DOC 67 kb)
13157_2012_328_MOESM3_ESM.doc (110 kb)
Appendix C(DOC 110 kb)

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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael L. Schummer
    • 1
  • Jason Palframan
    • 1
  • Emily McNaughton
    • 1
  • Ted Barney
    • 1
  • Scott A. Petrie
    • 1
  1. 1.Long Point WaterfowlPort RowanCanada

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