Wetland Restoration

  • Joy B. Zedler
  • Nick Miller
Reference work entry


Wetland landscapes and wetland watersheds are both general, flexible terms that are often used interchangeably; however, the boundaries of landscapes are less discrete than those of watersheds, which have specific drainage areas. In expansive flat topography, as in Florida and the US Upper Midwestern prairie pothole region, it is difficult to locate watershed boundaries, so the term landscape is more appropriate. Elsewhere, wetland catchments are easily defined, and it is useful to refer to watersheds whenever emphasizing the inseparable interactions between the water that flows downslope and collects to form wetlands. Here, we consider watersheds to be parts of larger landscapes, which we also call regions to emphasize their large spatial scale. Most of our examples are drawn from the USA, where we have the greatest experience.


Ecosystem services Landscape Restoration Watershed 


  1. Adamus PA, Stockwell LT, Jr Clairain EJ, Rozas LP, Smith RD. Wetland evaluation technique (WET). Volume I: literature review and evaluation rationale. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station, Wetlands Research Program Technical Report WRP‐DE‐2. Vicksburg. 1991; 280 pp.Google Scholar
  2. Alwash S. Eden again: hope in the marshes of Iraq. Fullerton: Tablet House Publishing; 2013.Google Scholar
  3. Aronson J, Blignaut JN, Milton SJ, Le Maitre D, Esler KJ, Limouzin A, Fontaine C, de Wit MP, Mugido W, Prinsloo P, van der Elst L, Lederer N. Are socioeconomic benefits of restoration adequately quantified? A meta-analysis of recent papers (2000–2008) in Restoration Ecology and 12 other scientific journals. Restor Ecol. 2010;18:143–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. ASWM (Association of State Wetland Managers). Common questions pertaining to establishing a wetland and watershed management plan. Berne: ASWM; 2001. file:///Users/joyzedler/Desktop/ASWMwatershedPlanning.webarchive. Accessed 5 Mar 2011.
  5. Ayala DJ. Created wetlands in Denmark and Skane: an analysis of impacts on nutrient retention and biodiversity [Master of Environmental Science thesis]. Lund: Lund University; 1996.Google Scholar
  6. CoE (Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army). Compensatory mitigation for losses of aquatic resources, 73 Fed. Reg. 19594, 19595 (10 Apr 2008) (codified at 33 C.F.R. pt. 325 & 332 and 40 C.F.R. pt. 230). 2008.Google Scholar
  7. Crumpton WG. Using wetlands for water quality improvement in agricultural watersheds: the importance of a watershed scale perspective. Water Sci Technol. 2001;44:559–64.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Dahl TE. Wetlands losses in the United States 1780’s to 1980’s. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service; 1990.Google Scholar
  9. Dahl TE. Status and trends of wetlands in the conterminous United States: 1998 to 2004. Washington, DC: USDI Fish and Wildlife Service; 2006.Google Scholar
  10. Danz NP, Niemi GJ, Regal RR, Hollenhorst T, Johnson LB, Hanowski JM, Axler RP, Ciborowski J, Hrabik T, Brady V, Kelly J, Morrice J, Brazner J, How R, Johnston CA, Host G. Integrated measures of anthropogenic stress in the U.S. Great Lakes Basin. Environ Manag. 2007;39:631–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Environmental Law Institute and The Nature Conservancy. Watershed Approach Handbook: Improving Outcomes and Increasing Benefits Associated with Wetland and Stream Restoration and Protection Projects. ELI and TNC, Washington, D.C., 2014Google Scholar
  12. Flanagan N, Richardson CJ. A multi-scale approach to prioritize wetland restoration for watershed-level water quality improvement. Wetl Ecol Manage. 2010;18:695–706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Frieswyk CB, Johnston C, Zedler JB. Identifying and characterizing dominant plants as an indicator of community condition. J Great Lakes Res. 2008;33(Special Issue 3):125–35.Google Scholar
  14. Gardner RC, Zedler J, Redmond A, Turner RE, Johnston CA, Alvarez VA, Simenstad CA, Prestegaard KL, Mitsch WJ. Compensating for wetland losses under the Clean Water Act (Redux): evaluating the Federal Compensatory Mitigation Regulation. Stetson Law Rev. 2009;38:213–49.Google Scholar
  15. Hansson L-A, Brönmark C, Nilsson PA, Abjörnsson K. Conflicting demands on wetland ecosystem services: nutrient retention, biodiversity or both? Freshw Biol. 2005;50:705–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hey DL, Philippi NS. Flood reduction through wetland restoration: the upper Mississippi River basin as a case history. Restor Ecol. 1995;3:4–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hruby T, Harper K, Stanley S. Selecting wetland mitigation sites using a watershed approach. Seattle: Ecology publication #09-06-032 of the Washington Department of Ecology; 2009.Google Scholar
  18. Johnston CA, Zedler JB, Tulbure MG, Frieswyk DeJong CB, Bedford BL, Vaccaro L. A unifying approach for evaluating the condition of wetland plant communities and identifying related stressors. Ecol Appl. 2009;19:1739–957.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Kline J, Bernthal T Burzynski M,Barrett K. Milwaukee river basin wetland assessment project: developing decision support tools for effective planning. Final Report to U.S. EPA, Region V. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, Wisconsin, 2006.Google Scholar
  20. Larson LW. The great USA flood of 1993. In: Destructive water: water-caused natural disasters – their abatement and control, June 1996 international association of hydrological sciences conference, Anaheim; 1996.
  21. Leopold A. Sand County almanac. New York: Oxford University Press; 1949.Google Scholar
  22. Lewis Jr WM, Wurtsbaugh WA. Control of lacustrine phytoplankton by nutrients: erosion of the phosphorus paradigm. Int Rev Hydrobiol. 2008;93:446–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lovich J, Melis T. The state of the Colorado River ecosystem in Grand Canyon: lessons from 10 years of adaptive ecosystem management. Int J River Basin Manage. 2007;5:207–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. MEA (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment). Ecosystems and human well-being: wetlands and water synthesis. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute; 2005.Google Scholar
  25. Miller N, Bernthal T, Wagner J, Grimm M, Casper G, Kline J. The Duck-Pensaukee watershed approach: mapping wetland services, meeting watershed needs. Madison: The Nature Conservancy and Environmental Law Institute; 2012.Google Scholar
  26. NRC (National Research Council). Compensating for wetland losses under the clean water act. National Academies Press is in Washington, D.C; 2001.Google Scholar
  27. Paerl HW. Controlling eutrophication along the freshwater-marine continuum: dual nutrient (N and P) reductions are essential. Estuar Coast. 2009;32:593–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pataki DE, Carreiro MM, Cherrier J, Grulke N, Jennings V, Pincetl S, Pouyat RV, Whitlow TH, Zipperer WC. Coupling biogeochemical cycles in urban environments: ecosystem services, green solutions, and misconceptions. Front Ecol Environ. 2011;9:27–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tiner RW. Assessing cumulative loss of wetland functions in the Nanticoke River Watershed using enhanced National Wetlands Inventory data. Wetlands. 2005;25:405–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Toth L. Unrealized expectations for restoration of a floodplain plant community. Restor Ecol. 2010;18:810–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Vos CC, van der Hoek CJ, Vonk M. Spatial planning of a climate adaptation zone for wetland ecosystems. Landsc Ecol. 2010;25:1465–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zedler JB. Wetlands at your service: reducing impacts of agriculture at the watershed scale. Front Ecol Environ. 2003;1:65–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.The Nature ConservancyMadisonUSA

Personalised recommendations