Monitoring Plant Succession in a Restored Floodplain Wetland

Wingfield Pines Conservation Area is an 87-acre floodplain wetland located 15 miles south of Pittsburgh near the town of Bridgeville, Pa. It was strip mined in the mid-1900s and later converted into a golf course and swim club. In 2003, it was purchased by Allegheny Land Trust, which is a local non-profit organization that protects natural resources in and around Allegheny County. Allegheny Land Trust installed a passive wetland treatment system to remove iron from an underground mine, which required the restoration of wetland habitat at the southern end of the property.

For the past thirteen years, we surveyed the wetland plant community to monitor restoration efforts, measure the rate of plant succession, and study the competition between native and invasive species. The information is used to assist Allegheny Land Trust with land management decisions and provide critical knowledge on plant succession and invasive species.

An annual monitoring report and slides from scientific presentations are available below.
2017 Wingfield Pines Conservation Area Monitoring Report

2017 Presentation at Northeast Natural History Conference

2013 Presentation at Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences Conference

Educational Impact

Research from this study is made available to Allegheny Land Trust to assist them in land management decisions. The research is also used in case studies to teach college students how to interpret ecological data and manage wetlands.

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