Biological diversity of created forested wetlands in comparison to reference forested wetlands in the Bay watershed

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Edited by:
Glenn D. Therres


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Amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals were surveyed at six created forested wetlands in central Maryland and at six adjacent reference forested wetlands during 1993-1996 to determine comparative biological diversity of these habitats. Amphibians and reptiles were caught in pitfall and funnel traps associated with 15.4m (50 ft) drift fences. Birds were surveyed with a complete count while walking through each area. Mammals were surveyed by capture in live traps. More species and total individuals of amphibians were caught on the reference wetlands than on the created wetlands. The red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus), the four-toed salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum), the eastern spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrooki), and the wood frog (Rana sylvatica) were captured on the reference wetlands, but not on the created sites. The wood frog was captured at all reference sites and may represent the best amphibian species to characterize a forested wetland. Reptiles were not caught in sufficient numbers to warrant comparisons. Ninety-two bird species were recorded on created sites and 55 bird species on the reference sites. Bird species on the created sites represented those typically found in nonforested habitats. Mammal species were similar on both sites, but overall the reference sites had three times the number caught on created sites. The meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) was the dominant species captured on created sites, and the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) was the dominant species on reference sites, with little habitat overlap for these two species. Although species richness and total number of animals were high for created forested wetlands, these survey results show major differences from species expected for a forested wetland. The created forested wetlands appear to provide good habitat for wildlife, but are probably not providing the full functions and values of the forested wetlands that they were constructed to replace.

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Publication type:
Book chapter
Publication Subtype:
Book Chapter
Biological diversity of created forested wetlands in comparison to reference forested wetlands in the Bay watershed
Year Published:
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Publisher location:
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
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Larger Work Subtype:
Other Government Series
Larger Work Title:
Conservation of Biological Diversity: A Key to the Restoration of the Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem and Beyond. Proceedings of a conference held May 10-13, 1998 in Annapolis.
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