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Accommodating state shifts within the conceptual framework of the wetland continuum

February 6, 2018

The Wetland Continuum is a conceptual framework that facilitates the interpretation of biological studies of wetland ecosystems. Recently summarized evidence documenting how a multi-decadal wet period has influenced aspects of wetland, lake and stream systems in the southern prairie-pothole region of North America has revealed the potential for wetlands to shift among alternate states. We propose that incorporation of state shifts into the Wetland Continuum, as originally proposed or as modified by Hayashi et al., is a relatively simple matter if one allows for shifts of wetlands along the horizontal, groundwater axis of the framework under conditions of extreme and sustained wet or dry conditions. We suggest that the ease by which state shifts can be accommodated within both the original and modified frameworks of the Wetland Continuum is a testament to the robustness of the concept when it is related to the alternative-stable-state concept.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title Accommodating state shifts within the conceptual framework of the wetland continuum
DOI 10.1007/s13157-018-1004-y
Authors David M. Mushet, Owen P. McKenna, James W. LaBaugh, Ned H. Euliss, Donald O. Rosenberry
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Wetlands
Series Number
Index ID 70195044
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center