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The Vanishing Present: Wisconsin's Changing Lands, Waters, and Wildlife$
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Donald M. Waller and Thomas P. Rooney

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226871714

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226871745.001.0001

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Change in Wisconsin's Coastal Wetlands

Change in Wisconsin's Coastal Wetlands

(p.183) 14 Change in Wisconsin's Coastal Wetlands
The Vanishing Present: Wisconsin's Changing Lands, Waters, and Wildlife

Jim Meeker

Gary Fewless

University of Chicago Press

Some of Wisconsin's most majestic wetlands occur along the shores of Lakes Michigan and Superior. This chapter describes these systems, noting that their diversity often hinges on regular disturbance events including shifts in water depth. It notes the difficulty of separating changes in these wetlands that represent these natural cycles and “pulse stability” from those due to long-term directional changes. Habitat destruction has already eliminated half the wetlands in Wisconsin, and alterations in land use and hydrology continue to degrade many of those that persist. Wetlands are also experiencing unprecedented waves of invasion from exotic plant species like reed canary grass and purple loosestrife threatening native wetland species and wetlands along both lakeshores.

Keywords:   wetlands, water depth, habitat destruction, land use, hydrology, species invasion, purple loosestrife, exotic plant species

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