Potential effects of restoration on biogeochemical functions of bottom land hardwood ecosystemsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The concept of wetland restoration carries multiple meanings and implications. The scientific usage of the term connotes re-establishment of wetland functions, and often it is the functions, which society deems most valuable, that receive highest focus. Arguably, among key wetland functions, the highest societal value may be linked with the biogeochemical transformation or filtration function, a key contributor to maintenance of water quality. This function requires flow-through hydrology such as that associated with unimpeded riverine forests, and, consequently, its re-establishment is negated by the absence of such hydrology. Consequently, afforestation of former agricultural areas, which were protected from flow-through hydrology, i.e., flooding, by dikes, ditches, etc., cannot be considered restoration in a complete sense unless some semblance of flow-through hydrology is also restored. The term quasi-depressional wetland is suggested as being appropriate for afforested areas where hydrologic restoration is unfeasible.