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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  701P0904,  . (doi: 10.13031/2013.17440)
Authors:   Joshua L. Smith

Exotic plants are known to have invaded various ecosystems throughout the United States. Wetlands in particular have a number of invasive exotic plants known to detrimentally affect both floral and faunal communities and ecosystem function. Loss of species diversity and ecosystem function are concerns shared by managers of both natural wetland preserves and created treatment wetlands alike. In northeast Ohio, exotic species such as purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and common reed grass (Phragmites australis) are of particular concern. The George Jones Memorial Farm, in Oberlin, Ohio, is the site of six created wetland cells being used to test different management strategies for not only the control of invasive plant species, but also to determine what management strategies provide the best ecological services while still maintaining a high plant species diversity. Three treatments are replicated at the study site: two planted wetland cells being actively managed for invasive and exotic species; two cells being planted and allowed to vegetate without management; and two cells being left as unplanted controls. The objectives of this project are to see not only which management strategy best reduces invasive and exotic plant species in this part of Ohio, but also to determine which strategy can provide the most cost-effective way of preserving diversity as well as restoring ecological function. The project was initiated in the fall of 2003 with wetland cell creation and plant installation; the collection of field data will begin in early spring of 2004.

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