Restoration of Aquatic Environments
Aquatic macrophytes, refers to submerged species that inhabit aquatic habitats. This diverse group of species plays an important role in ecosystem function, which includes among other things, habitat and food for fish and invertebrates. However, despite their importance, they are often forgotten component of wetland restoration. A number of these species in this category are now rare, which likely reflect the lack of quality habitat. Currently most effort is focused on preventing invasive aquatic species, which usually involves indiscriminate removal of all macrophytes, even natives. In a pilot project to evaluate the value of aquatic macrophyes we are proposing to construct four microcosm, one all rare species, one with common natives, one with invasive and one empty. We are looking to measure the changes in these ecosystems, and relate it back to its composition.