chapter  3
30 Pages

Hydrology and substrate

Hydrology is the driving force for wetland development and functioning (Mitsch and Gosselink 1993). In discussing hydrology here and elsewhere in the book, we use the term “hydrology” in a very broad sense, covering all aspects of water flow and its impacts on a restored wetland, including geomorphology, sediment transport, water and soil salinity, and inundation regime. Hydrology affects soil development, sediment dynamics, plant growth and dispersal, aquatic animal access, and many other processes. For any wetland restoration to provide habitat support and other functions, appropriate hydrology must be established, and this frequently means more than simply restoring tidal action by removing berms or levees. Together, hydrology and substrate conditions (including salinity, texture, organic matter content, and nutrient status) are the key abiotic factors that influence the development of wetland plant and animal distributions.