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Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron: Impacts of Water Level Fluctuations on Wetland Vegetation

Douglas Wilcox;
Development of regulation plan performance indicators describing water-level regime impacts on the distribution and area of wetland bulrush marsh and meadow marsh communities in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron, Michigan. The performance indicator metric is the estimated surface area of bulrush marsh and meadow marsh (hectares) for Saginaw Bay (extrapolated bay-wide estimates from vegetation data collected at Fish Point Wetland in Saginaw Bay). Bulrushes reduce erosion and trap coastal sediments along shorelines exposed to high wave energy. Meadow marsh plant communities are highly diverse and often occur within a relatively narrow hydrologic range in comparison to other wetland vegetation communities. These wetland plant communities provide fish spawning and nursery habitats and habitat for wildlife and birds. The performance indicator was developed from elevation-specific vegetation data collected annually between 1988 and 1993 at Fish Point Marsh in Saginaw Bay.
Ecosystem PI 12: Bulrush and Meadow Marsh, Saginaw Bay
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Supporting Content (Show)
Main Topics
Lake Superior Regulation
Questions We Asked
What constitutes improved plan performance?
Does the plan reduce environmental impacts?
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How vulnerable are interest groups to extremes?
Key Findings
Plan 2012 will be more robust and provide important benefits compared to Plan 77A
Plan 2012 performs similar to Plan 77A under 20th century NBS
Ecosystems Evaluation
Performance Indicators
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Coping Zones