Impacts of Flooding Regime Modification on Wildlife Habitats of Bottomland Hardwood Forests in the Lower Mississippi Valley.
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS ENVIRONMENTAL LAB
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This report is a literature review concerning the impacts of flooding regime modification on bottomland hardwood forest wildlife habitats of the lower Mississippi Valley. Documented effects on forest vegetation and wildlife populations are described. The composition and structure of the bottomland are an important determinant of the quality and type of wildlife habitat available. These forest characteristics are, in turn, largely influenced by the flooding regime. In general, overstory diversity and perennial understory diversity and productivity are lowest in near-permanently flooded habitats and increase in areas flooded less frequently and for shorter periods of time. Nonflooded areas are often, but not always, less diverse and productive than infrequently flooded areas. A permanent change in flooding regime is likely to cause a gradual change in composition and structure, resulting in forest characteristics similar to those normally found under such hydrologic conditions. Tree growth, regional habitat diversity, and land clearance patterns may also be influenced by modifications to the hydrologic regime.
- Anatomy and Physiology