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Accession Number 5004660

Title Ecosystem response of salt marshes to OMWM: coastal refuges of FWS Region 5

Project Description By the 1930s, most salt marshes throughout the northeastern US had been ditched for mosquito

control purposes, and to a lesser extent, for salt hay farming. Documented impacts of this

extensive network of ditching include drainage of marsh pools and pannes, lowered water table

levels, vegetation changes, and associated trophic responses. To restore the ecological functions

of ditched salt marshes, while maintaining effective mosquito control, the USFWS Region 5 is

conducting studies to evaluate the effectiveness of the practice known as Open Marsh Water

Management (OMWM) and ditch plugging. The purpose of this study is to compare and evaluate

marshes that have undergone OMWM or ditch plugging with parallel ditched marshes. Physical

(hydrology, water table level, surface flooding, marsh development), chemical (soil salinity, soil

sulfide), and ecological (vegetation, nekton, waterbirds, cryptic birds, marsh invertebrates,

mosquito production) factors will be evaluated. Over a 3 year period, study sites will be

established at coastal Refuges from Maine to Delaware.

Keywords birds, fish, marsh management, salt marsh, vegetation,

Principal R. M Erwin, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: ; Matthew

Investigators Perry, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center:

 William Kendall, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center:  ;

 Glenn Guntenspergen, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: ; Donald Cahoon, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: 

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