Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Influence of water level management on vegetation and bird use of restored wetlands in the Montezuma Wetlands Complex

Citation

Farley, Edward (2022), Influence of water level management on vegetation and bird use of restored wetlands in the Montezuma Wetlands Complex, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.fqz612jtv

Abstract

Active water management of wetlands promotes seed and tuber production to feed migrating waterfowl, but few assessments exist to determine how management actions influence wetland structure, vegetation, and bird response throughout the year. We identified effects of full water drawdown, partial water drawdown and passive wetlands (no active dewatering during the growing season) on plant communities and bird abundance in wetlands of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex, New York, May–October 2016–2018 and February–April 2017–2019. We detected few differences in the plant community during June, but during September we detected greater vegetative forage quality index for waterfowl, annual plant cover and seed density in full and partial drawdowns than passive wetlands. Bird abundance was greater in June–July in passive wetlands and greater in September–October in full drawdowns. During spring migration, duck densities were greater in full and partial drawdowns. Our results indicate that wetland managers should use a mix of full drawdowns and passive wetlands to provide habitat for the greatest diversity and number of birds throughout the year.