Chapter

Southern Wisconsin's Herbaceous Wetlands: Their Recent History and Precarious Future

Joy B. Zedler and Kenneth W. Potter

in The Vanishing Present: Wisconsin's Changing Lands, Waters, and Wildlife

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780226871714
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226871745 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226871745.003.0015
Southern Wisconsin's Herbaceous Wetlands: Their Recent History and Precarious Future

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This chapter examines changes in inland wetlands beginning with their glacial origins, extending through the past century of draining, filling, and dredging, and ending with current efforts to protect wetlands. It is difficult to estimate just how wetland acreage and quality have changed over the past 50 years given the scarcity of reliable baseline data. Like coastal wetlands, herbaceous wetlands face an onslaught of invasive species like reed canary grass whose impacts are often amplified by shifts in surface and groundwater flow, sedimentation, and livestock grazing. Although these threats are partially countered by federal and state policies to protect wetlands, further research is needed in order to succeed in the challenging task of restoring more wetlands.

Keywords: inland wetlands; wetland acreage; herbaceous wetlands; sedimentation; livestock grazing

Chapter.  6813 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

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