Floodplain ecosystems of the southeastern United States provide numerous services to society, but hydrologic and geomorphic alterations, agricultural practices, water quality and availability, and urban development continue to challenge restorationists and managers at multiple spatial and temporal scales. These challenges are further exacerbated by tremendous uncertainty regarding climate and land use patterns and natural variability in these systems. The symposium from which the papers in 2009 ensued was organized to provide a critical evaluation of current natural resource restoration and management practices to support the sustainability of floodplain ecosystem functions in the southeastern United States. In this paper we synthesize these concepts and evaluate restoration and conservation techniques in light of our understanding of these ecosystems. We also discuss current and future challenges and attempt to identify new approaches that may facilitate the long-term sustainability of southeastern floodplain systems. We conclude that integration of disciplines and approaches is necessary to meet the floodplain conservation challenges of the coming century. Integration will not only include purposeful dialogue between interdisciplinary natural resource professionals, but it also is necessary to sincerely engage the public about goals, objectives, and desirable outcomes of floodplain ecosystem restoration. ?? 2009, The Society of Wetland Scientists.
Additional publication details
The ecology, restoration, and management of southeastern floodplain ecosystems: A synthesis