Spring Invertebrate Communities in a Restored Wetland

by Andrew Walnum

The goal of every restoration project is to restore degraded ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-disturbed functions. For wetlands, restoring the hydrological function of the area is usually what restoration ecologists aim to achieve, often at a rate which quickly makes changes to the hydrology and chemistry of the landscape. Although ecological restoration is an important growing field, very little is known about the inter-habitat effects of restoration. Freshwater springs regularly form along wetland ecosystems but there have been no studies to find how restoration might affect these habitats. Illmonen et al.(2013) looks at the effects of restoring wetland on these non-target ecosystems by looking at macroinvertebrate diversity. Because these habitats are geographically scattered the authors believed that recovery time for these springs may be slow due to poor dispersing mechanisms for macroinvertebrates, although more cosmopolitan species may take over quickly. Continue reading