Actively manage water level: brackish/saline swamps
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
This action involves active, repeated management of the amount of water in wetlands and when it is present, to mimic the natural hydrology of swamps. This may prevent excessively high or low water levels (e.g. during storm surges or droughts), or maintain wet/dry cycles that are a natural feature of many swamps (e.g. Conner & Buford 1998).
This action will usually involve some kind of water control structure: a valve, gate, sluice or pump. Water level management might aim to: mirror historical water level fluctuations or stability; manage salinity levels; increase sediment inputs; stimulate growth of desirable plant species; and/or create new wetland plant communities. Studies of “moist soil management”, “structural marsh management” and “environmental flows” along river courses all fall within the scope of this action. Caution: When managing water levels in a focal site, the effect on water levels in neighbouring sites should be considered.
Although water levels may be managed to restore or enhance habitats for waterfowl, information on the value of vegetation for waterfowl (e.g. seed production; productivity measured as CO2 exchange rates) is not summarized in this synopsis. Also, this synopsis does not include information on riparian areas that are not clearly marshes or swamps (e.g. riparian forests that require only a brief flood pulse for germination; Taylor et al. 2006).
Related actions: Raise water level to restore degraded swamps or restore/create swamps from other land uses; Lower water level to restore degraded swamps or restore/create swamps from other land uses; Facilitate tidal exchange to restore degraded swamps or restore/create swamps from other land uses; Manage water level to control problematic plants; Actively manage water level to complement planting.
Conner W.H. & Buford M.A. (1998) Southern deepwater swamps. Pages 261–287 in: M.G. Messina & W.H. Conner (eds.) Southern Forested Wetlands: Ecology and Management. Lewis Publishers/CRC Press, Boca Raton.
Junk W.J., Piedade M.T.F., Schöngart J., Cohn-Haft M., Adeney J.M. Wittman F. (2011) A classification of major naturally-occurring Amazonian lowland wetlands. Wetlands, 31, 623–640.
Taylor J.P., Smith L.M. & Haukos D.A. (2006) Evaluation of woody plant restoration in the Middle Rio Grande: ten years after. Wetlands, 26, 1151–1160.