Measuring wetland restoration success through water quality and invertebrate community indices
Wetland restoration projects are essential to preserving these imperiled ecosystems. While restoring lost or degraded wetlands is the first step, determining the success of restoration efforts is often difficult or only focuses on one aspect of an ecosystem. To address these shortfalls, I determined the success of wetland restoration through traditional (i.e., water quality testing and plant composition) and non-traditional methods (i.e., terrestrial and aquatic insect sampling) in established and restored wetlands in Ohio. I determined water quality using a YSI probe and measured dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and temperature in each wetland. The values collected for these characteristics were compared to established wetlands and known standard water health metrics. I determined plant composition by estimating the percent cover of plant species found within 5-0.25 m circle plots. Lastly, I used sweep nets for terrestrial insect collection and dip nets for aquatic macroinvertebrate collection. These samples were sorted, counted, and identified to order in the lab to determine how terrestrial insect and aquatic macroinvertebrate community indices indicate the health of restored wetlands. Initial results indicate that insect abundance in restored wetlands was greater than in established wetlands, which was likely driven by restored wetlands having higher plant species richness. Our initial results indicate that a diverse plant community in restored areas may serve as a habitat for aboveground insects, which could have cascading beneficial effects on the rest of the ecosystem.
Ryan Reihart, Chelse Prather
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences
"Measuring wetland restoration success through water quality and invertebrate community indices" (2023). Stander Symposium Projects. 2797.