Restoring Complex Vegetation in Urban Settings: The Case of Tidal Freshwater Marshes

Baldwin, A.H.

Publication Date:

To illustrate some of the mechanisms affecting vegetation development in restored tidal freshwater marshes in urban areas, I present a case study on one of these wetlands, Kingman Marsh, that also includes research at another restored wetland and two natural reference sites. Studies by my research groups indicate that the restored wetlands undergo essentially a planting-modified process of primary succession. Recent literature and the case study indicate that the environmental conditions of urban settings impose constraints in restored wetlands that result in plant communities more like those of urban natural wetlands than those of wetlands in less urbanized watersheds. This suggests that rather than design wetland restoration projects with the goal of creating “pristine” wetland vegetation, restorationists must identify, accept, and if possible capitalize on the ecological constraints of the urban environment in setting achievable and desirable restoration goals.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Urban Ecosystems