Convergence and divergence in plant community trajectories as a framework for monitoring wetland restoration progress

  1. Jeffrey W. Matthews, 
  2. Greg Spyreas

This article applies some of the theory from the Suding et al article and turns on its head the conclusion from the Jones & Schmidt article. It looks at 11 wetland restoration projects and using convergence/divergence of species composition as compared to intact and degraded reference wetlands as a metric for success or failure. The authors found that in the short term, restoration sites became increasingly similar to both intact and degraded reference sites. However, in the longer term (>4 yrs) restoration sites diverged from intact reference sites and continued to move toward reference sites. This was due to invasion by a non-native grass.

  • Illustrates how restoration trajectories move towards undesirable alternative stable states
  • Applies theory from Suding et al article
  • Interesting metric for judging restoration success
  • Incorporates longer term perspective
  • Does a nice job of bringing up policy issues at end

  • Focus on one system: mid-western wetlands
  • Uses only community-based metrics

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