The practice of restoration has been called the acid test for ecological theories, as theoretical outcomes may or may not occur in real life scenarios. Regardless, the need for increased communication between theory and practice is necessary to mutually benefit both disciplines. My dissertation research used several major ecological theories to formulate questions regarding environmental constraints on the establishment and expansion of several species of freshwater tidal macrophytes (Schoenoplectus acutus, Schoenoplectus californicus, and to a lesser extent, Typha latifolia). I investigated the response of these species at different life-history stages to various environmental stressors (i.e., degree of soil compaction, flooding duration, and nutrient availability) in both field and controlled greenhouse settings. These studies revealed that adult individuals are more tolerant to environmental stressors than their rhizome or seedling counterparts. Schoenoplectus californicus exhibited superior performance than S. acutus or T. latifolia in when subjected to extreme flooding and stressful abiotic conditions. My research regarding silicon and nitrogen nutrient availability emphasizes the role that Si plays in sustaining Schoenoplectus spp., especially in the presence of high nitrogen concentrations. Finally, my research showed that the species of concern are powerful ecosystem engineers and are capable of ameliorating their abiotic conditions over time. The information presented in my dissertation research provides specific, useful information for freshwater tidal marsh restoration managers and emphasizes the utility of incorporating theory to improve our understanding and stewardship of ecosystems.
|Advisor:||Hester, Mark W.|
|Commitee:||France, Scott C., Howard, Rebecca J., Leberg, Paul L., Middleton, Beth A.|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biology, Environmental Studies, Environmental science|
|Keywords:||Hydrology, Restoration, Silicon, Soil physicochemistry, Tidal wetland, Wetland|
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