SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

In 1990 and 1991, 40 ditch plugs were constructed to restore a more natural hydroperiod (i.e., duration and depth of flooding) on portions of the 8,900-ha Dupuis Reserve in south Florida. Vegetation transects and digital water level recorders were installed at three sites to monitor changes in vegetation relative to improved hydrologic conditions. Increased hydroperiod resulted in the elimination of Paspalum notatum (bahia grass), an exotic species introduced for cattle forage. Panicum repens (torpedo grass), another introduced species, formed dense monotypic stands in response to increased hydroperiod, but was unable to penetrate areas where Panicum hemitomon (maidencane) already existed. Frequency of occurrence and density of two desirable species, Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed) and maidencane, increased relative to higher inundation frequencies, although maidencane preferred more moderate water depths. Pickerelweed density increased significantly after the second year and was well established on two sites by the fourth year of monitoring.