Avian diversity patterns at a constructed wetland: Use of ecological theory in the evaluation of a mine land reclamation technique

Michael Lacki, Josephs W. Hummer, Harold Webster

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

4 Scopus citations


Birds were surveyed at a constructed cattail (Typha latifolia) wetland near Coshocton, Ohio, during May and June of 1988, 1989 and 1990, as part of an overall assessment of the environmental integrity of a mine reclamation project. Comparison surveys were also completed at three nearby natural wetland sites similar in size and dominant wetland vegetation. The constructed wetland was established in November 1985 to serve as a treatment system for a deep mine discharge. Results demonstrated the constructed wetland exhibited the fewest number of bird feeding guilds per survey and an intermediate level of bird abundance relative to all sites examined. Significant differences in species diversity and feeding guild diversity patterns were not detected among sites; however, the constructed wetland supported a bird community with a significantly lower species evenness index, suggesting a more harsh and variable habitat relative to the natural wetlands. Our data suggest that the availability of adequate nesting habitat strongly influenced the patterns for avian diversity observed. Results from this study support Tramer's (1969) ideas explaining avian diversity patterns as a function of severity of environmental conditions and demonstrate that ecological precepts can be applied to the evaluation of mine land reclamation programs.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Specialist publicationInternational Journal of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Environment
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for this research was provided by a grant from American Electric Power service Corporation, Division of Environmental Engineering - Fuel Supply, Lancaster, OH. We thank T. Romanoski for helpfUl advice and logistic support. We are gratefUl to R. Baumgart, L. Bearer, B. Burhans, M. Magee, and K. Rooer for field and laboratory assistance.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Soil Science
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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