Standardized Measures of Coastal Wetland Condition: Implementation at a Laurentian Great Lakes Basin-Wide Scale

Donald G. Uzarski, Valerie J. Brady, Matthew J. Cooper, Douglas A. Wilcox, Dennis A. Albert, Richard P. Axler, Peg Bostwick, Terry N. Brown, Jan J.H. Ciborowski, Nicholas P. Danz, Joseph P. Gathman, Thomas M. Gehring, Greg P. Grabas, Anne Garwood, Robert W. Howe, Lucinda B. Johnson, Gary A. Lamberti, Ashley H. Moerke, Brent A. Murry, Gerald J. NiemiChristopher J. Norment, Carl R. Ruetz, Alan D. Steinman, Douglas C. Tozer, Ryan Wheeler, T. Kevin O’Donnell, John P. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since European settlement, over 50 % of coastal wetlands have been lost in the Laurentian Great Lakes basin, causing growing concern and increased monitoring by government agencies. For over a decade, monitoring efforts have focused on the development of regional and organism-specific measures. To facilitate collaboration and information sharing between public, private, and government agencies throughout the Great Lakes basin, we developed standardized methods and indicators used for assessing wetland condition. Using an ecosystem approach and a stratified random site selection process, birds, anurans, fish, macroinvertebrates, vegetation, and physico-chemical conditions were sampled in coastal wetlands of all five Great Lakes including sites from the United States and Canada. Our primary objective was to implement a standardized basin-wide coastal wetland monitoring program that would be a powerful tool to inform decision-makers on coastal wetland conservation and restoration priorities throughout the Great Lakes basin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-32
Number of pages18
JournalWetlands
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Keywords

  • Disturbance
  • Ecosystem health
  • Great Lakes
  • IBI
  • Indices of biotic integrity
  • Monitoring
  • Stressor
  • Wetlands

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