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Keywords:

  • wetland;
  • freshwater;
  • hydrophytic;
  • hydric;
  • invasive species;
  • conservation;
  • ecological assessment;
  • management

Abstract

  • 1.
    The characterization and classification of the Black River Upper Morass was conducted using the criteria of the three-parameter test for vegetation, soils and hydrology at 14 sites within the study area.
  • 2.
    The Upper Morass exhibited 71% hydrophytic vegetation typical of wetlands (vascular and non-vascular plants including Cladium jamaicense, Phragmites australis, Typha angustifolia and Sagittaria lancifolia) and 29% vegetation atypical of wetlands.
  • 3.
    The Upper Morass is classified as a Palustrine System with sub-classes of Aquatic Bed and Persistent Emergent Wetland.
  • 4.
    The presence throughout the Upper Morass of monoculture stands of the invasive species Eichhornia crassipes and Typha domingensis, which are known to invade disturbed or partially drained wetlands, confirmed that the study area was a disturbed ecosystem.
  • 5.
    The Upper Morass exhibited hydric (flood-water and groundwater) soils, which, in association with its temporarily flooded and saturated wetland hydrology, indicated that it is groundwater-driven.
  • 6.
    Application of the three-parameter test indicated a linkage between the functions of the Upper Morass and the Lower Morass, and thus a need for conservation of the Black River Morass System as a single unit rather than two independent wetlands. Two key instruments of conservation will be further detailed ecological assessments and the implementation of a management plan.

Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.