Application of the soil perturbation index to evaluate created and restored wetlandsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Biogeochemical properties of wetlands have recently been investigated to assess recovery of wetland ecosys-tems following human alteration. Analyses of soil samples have shown that the natural regeneration of timber-harvested wetlands exhibits predictable trends for soil organic matter, total organic carbon, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, and total phosphorus. Incorporating these four nutrients, a Soil Perturbation Index (SPI) was previously developed to aid in biogeochemical comparisons of altered wetlands at different successional stages to mature reference wetlands. The current study explores whether reforested sites previously in agriculture exhibit similar biogeochemical trends to forested wetlands previously timber harvested. Results indicate that reforested sites previously in agriculture exhibit biogeochemical trends similar to timber-harvested wetlands, although perhaps at slower rates. Trends for the SPI developed from the agriculturally based sites were very similar to that of the original SPI developed from naturally regenerated sites.