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Faunal aspects of wetland creation and restoration
Porej, Deni

2004, Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology.
Success of wetland restoration/creation efforts in adequately replacing impacted wetlands is dependent in part on identifying and quantifying key habitat features that are important in structuring the composition of wetland-dependent faunal communities. My Ph.D. project focused on advancing our understanding of the local and landscape-level factors that structure faunal diversity in wetlands. The first chapter examines how certain wetland-design characteristics affect the structure of amphibian communities in constructed replacement wetlands. I find strong evidence that predatory fish and the absence of a shallow littoral zone in constructed wetlands have a negative impact on amphibian diversity, while wetland size is not an important factor. The second chapter presents habitat-suitability models for seven pond-breeding amphibian species using variables describing the surrounding landscape composition (at 200m and 1km scales) and within-wetland factors such as wetland size and presence of predatory fish. Landscape composition is a good predictor of amphibian diversity at natural wetlands within the agricultural landscape of Ohio. The amount of forest cover within 200m, cumulative length of paved roads within 1km, presence of predatory fish, and distance to other wetlands are variables that explain most of the variability. Chapter three examines the association between wetland bird species diversity (breeders, non-breeders and spring migrants) and the amount of emergent vegetation cover in the wetland as well as the size of the wetland complex within which a wetland was constructed. Breeding bird diversity and density is highest in wetlands with high vegetation cover (60-80%), and the size of the wetland complex is positively associated with both overall diversity and density of several individual species. In the fourth chapter, I compare amphibian communities in existing constructed replacement wetlands to communities in natural forested and emergent wetlands within the agricultural landscape of Ohio. Although over 50% of current wetland impacts are to forested wetlands, amphibian communities in constructed wetlands are typical of permanent, emergent wetlands. Habitat-suitability model for spotted salamander (as an indicator of forested wetland species) developed in Chapter two indicates that only a small fraction of constructed wetlands have the ability to support forest-dependent amphibian fauna.
Thomas Hetherington (Advisor)
120 p.

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Porej, Deni. "Faunal aspects of wetland creation and restoration." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2004. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 25 Nov 2017.

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Porej, Deni "Faunal aspects of wetland creation and restoration." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2004. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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