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Transforming Learning Program
Increasing biodiversity and habitat complexity in invaded wetlands
Biodiversity and ecological functions in species-rich Great Lakes coastal wetlands are threatened by aggressive invasive cattails, Typha spp. Presently, invasive cattails are the most common, spreading, and ecologically detrimental aquatic invasive plant in the St. Marys River, Les Cheneaux Islands, and Michigan’s northern lower peninsula, an area of the US Great Lakes harboring the highest quality remaining coastal wetlands. Results from 2010-2013 GLRI-funded adaptive restoration research clearly demonstrated that mechanical harvesting of invasive cattail increases plant species diversity in northern Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Here, we propose to implement this proven cattail harvesting technique to measure how cattail removal affects aquatic species diversity. We will evaluate the effectiveness of including aquatic connectivity and structural complexity treatments to harvested areas to increase fish, macroinvertebrate, and herpetofauna diversity. This work will reduce invasive plant abundance at ecologically significant locations, promote biodiversity of multiple taxa, and advance the science and practice of restoration.
EPA: GLRI (subaward through Loyola University)