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Abstract

We conducted a study of the flood tolerance of nine wetland tree species on seven soil types. Seedlings were subjected to 11 months of continuous shallow inundation or moist soil conditions on three mineral soils, two organic soils, a manufactured soil designed to mimic the practice of layering muck over mineral soil, and a stockpiled topsoil. Taxodium ascendens, T. distichum, Acer rubrum, and Pinus serotina suffered no mortality; Fraxinus carolininna (1%), Liquidambar styraciflua (8%), P. elliottii (8%), and Gordonia lasianthus (24%) suffered low to moderate mortality; and Persea palustris (46%) suffered significant mortality. In general, greatest net height and total biomass were achieved on moist organic soils, and least net height and total biomass were achieved on stockpiled topsoil and inundated soils. Responses to hydrological conditions were less pronounced for Taxodium spp. If the results of this experiment are transferable to the field, then Acer rubrum, Fraxinus caroliniana, Pinus serotina, Taxodium ascendens, and Taxodium distichum seedlings can reasonably be expected to survive at least one year under a broad range of hydrological and edaphic conditions. With the exception of Taxodium spp., first-year growth for the species of this study can be facilitated by maintaining moist but not inundated conditions. These findings suggest that transfer of organic soils will benefit restoration and creation efforts, and that layering organic soil over mineral soil is more effective than using mineral soils or stockpiled topsoil.