Wetlands pp 27-34 | Cite as

The Necessity for Multidisciplinary Approaches to Wetland Design and Adaptive Management: The Case of Wetland Channels

  • Marjorie L. Zeff


The need for a multidisciplinary approach to the design and adaptive management of constructed wetlands is illustrated by case examples of channel form and function in a variety of wetland types. Channels in wetland systems are typically viewed simply as conduits of water inflow and outflow. However, there are dynamic interrelationships amongst vegetation, hydrology/hydraulics, and substrate in wetland channel systems that demand a more holistic approach to wetland management that considers the disciplines of biology, engineering, and sedimentary geology. Recognition of the inter-dependence of the biologic, hydrologic, and geomorphic components of channelized flow in wetland systems is critical to the successful design of self-sustaining constructed wetlands.


Salt Marsh Adaptive Management Wetland Type Wetland System Channel Morphology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Corenblit D, Gurnell AM, Steiger J, Tabacchi E (2008) Reciprocal adjustments between landforms and living organisms: extended geomorphic evolutionary insights. Cateña 73:261–273Google Scholar
  2. Diefenderfer HL, Coleman AM, Borde AB, Sinks IA (2008) Hydraulic geometry and microtopography of tidal freshwater forested wetlands and implications for restoration, Columbia River, USA. Ecohydrol Hydrobiol 8:339–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ellery WN, McCarthy TS, Smith ND (2003) Vegetation, hydrology, and sedimentation patterns on the major distributary system of the Okavango Fan, Botswana. Wetlands 23:257–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Garofalo D (1980) The influence of wetland vegetation on tidal stream channel migration and morphology. Estuaries 3:258–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Jurmu MC (2002) A morphological comparison of narrow, low-gradient streams traversing wetland environments to alluvial streams. Environ Manage 30:831–856PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Leopold LB, Collins JN, Collins LM (1993) Hydrology of some tidal channels in estuarine marshland near San Francisco. Cateña 20:469–493Google Scholar
  7. McCarthy TS, Ellery WN (1997) The fluvial dynamics of the Maunachira Channel system, northeastern Okavango Swamps, Botswana. Water SA 23:115–125Google Scholar
  8. Mitsch WJ, Gosselink JC (2000) Wetlands, 3rd edn. Wiley, New York, p 920Google Scholar
  9. Myrick RM, Leopold LB (1963) Hydraulic geometry of a small tidal estuary. United States Geological Survey, Professional Paper 422-B:1–18Google Scholar
  10. Nanson RA, Nanson GC, Huang HQ (2010) The hydraulic geometry of narrow and deep channels; evidence for flow optimisation and controlled peatland growth. Geomorphology 117:143–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Pestrong R (1965) The development of drainage patterns in tidal marshes. Stanford University Publications in Earth Science 10:1–878Google Scholar
  12. Pestrong R (1972) Tidal-flat sedimentation at Cooley Landing, southeast San Francisco Bay. Sed Geol 8:251–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Smith ND, Perez-Arlucca M (2004) Effects of peat on the shapes of alluvial channels: examples from the Cumberland Marshes, Saskatchewan, Canada. Geomorphology 61:323–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Stallins JA (2006) Geomorphology and ecology: unifying themes for complex systems in biogeomorphology. Geomorphology 77:207–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Tooth S, McCarthy TS (2004) Controls on the transition from meandering to straight channels in the wetlands of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Earth Surf Process Landforms 29:1627–1649CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Watters JR, Stanley EH (2007) Stream channels in peatlands: the role of biological processes in controlling channel form. Geomorphology 89:97–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Wilcox DA (1987) A model for assessing interdisciplinary approaches to wetland research. Wetlands 7:39–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Williams GD, Desmond JS (2001) Restoring assemblages of invertebrates and fishes. In: Zedler JB (ed) Handbook for restoring tidal wetlands. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 235–269Google Scholar
  19. Zeff ML (1988) Sedimentation in a salt marsh-tidal channel system, southern New Jersey. Mar Geol 82:33–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.URS CorporationFort WashingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations