Maintaining Diversity in Created Wetlands

Focus Area

Water Quality/Wetlands


Natural Resources







Research Idea Scope

Problem Statement:
Naturally occurring wetlands are characterized by a broad diversity of species. When replacement wetlands need to be created to offset transportation project impacts they often fail to achieve the diversity of species and functional values of the original wetland. What methods or techniques are available that maximize the potential for maintaining diversity and values in re-created wetlands?
Proposed Research:
Conduct a literature search and survey for successful wetlands creation projects. Identify common themes, by geographic region, that indicate high probability of success in quickly achieving and maintaining species diversity, stability and functional values.

TERI Administrator Note (2007): Research Underway
FHWA FY07 STEP Project:
Wildlife Usage of Wetland Mitigation Areas

How wetland mitigations replace wildlife function and values has received little attention despite efforts by wetland regulators to require performance standards for wetland mitigation areas. The focus should be on wetland mitigation banks as they typically possess a greater area than project-by-project mitigations and therefore provide more habitat opportunity. Wetland mitigations are often planned to compensate for flood attenuation, filtration, and specific plant community composition but not usually designed for specific or a variety of wildlife species. The usage of wetland mitigations by wildlife should be documented by habitat type and species using that particular habitat. A comparison can be made to the impacted wetland to verify if the mitigation site is compensating for the same or different wildlife usage. The data collected could possibly be integrated into a predicative model for determining which animal species and how many different species use a particular habitat type. Standardized methods to collect such information would be beneficial in determining how specific mitigation design elements contribute to successful mitigation of wildlife function. The objective of this research will be to document specific wetland habitat and the variety and number of wildlife species utilizing that habitat. The research may be useful for designing wetland mitigations to achieve a specific or desired variety of wildlife species based on their habitat requirements and use.

Suggested By

2002 Research Needs Conference Idea Laura Backus Carter & Burgess, Inc

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