Master of Science Thesis submitted 1996

A Comparison of Vegetational, Edaphic, and Hydrologic Characteristics of Riverine Forested Wetlands of the North Carolina Coastal Plain

Kelly Dawn Beissel
(now Kelly Williams)


Beissel, K.D., and T.H. Shear. 1997. Comparison of the vegetational, hydrologic, and edaphic characteristics of riverine forested wetlands on the North Carolina coastal plain. Transportation Research Record 1601:42-48.



Although forested wetlands are relatively abundant on the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, restoration of forested wetlands is becoming increasingly more common since these communities are frequent targets for impact or destruction. Successful restoration is made difficult by a lack of basic knowledge about the soil and hydrologic characteristics of different types of forested wetlands. This study describes the plant community composition of two forested wetland types, two Bottomland Hardwood communities and a Coastal Plain Small Stream Swamp. The edaphic and hydrologic characteristics of each communtiy type were compared. Many researchers have suggested construction of detailed water budgets to describe the hydrologic regimes of natural forested wetlands and to use in restoration projects. Although several soil and hydrologic characteristics were associated with with variation in plant community composition, the results of this investigation support the use of a particular flood frequency as a surrogate measure of several flood frequencies may be sufficient to explain this variation. Use of this information would simplify the re-construction of appropriate hydrologic regimes in forested wetlands and perhaps increase the success of restoration projects.