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Contaminated dredge spoil is a national concern due to its scope and effects on biota, water quality, and the physical environment. This literature review discusses the effects of contaminated dredge spoils on wetland plant communities. Plant communities naturally shift over time with changing environmental conditions. Addition of toxins and nutrients and changes in hydrology may influence plant community structure. The storage and disposal of nutrient and metal contaminated dredge spoils may cause shifts in nearby plant communities. Shifts in species composition and diversity may not be observed for decades after nutrient enrichment, causing any disturbance to remain undetected. Plant community shifts often have great amounts of inertia and are difficult to reverse.
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Effects of contaminated dredge spoils on wetland plant communities: A literature review