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Conservation: Shorelines


Shoreline Shorelines support a wide array of wetland vegetation types. This is primarily the result of interactions between two factors: (1) gradients of exposure to waves/ ice scour and (2) fluctuation in water levels, which change environmental conditions both within and among years. Waves, ice scour and water level fluctuations in combination also reduce shrub cover on shorelines, thereby allowing a rich herbaceous flora to occur. We have studied these factors over many years, with particular emphasis on the rare vegetation types that occur upon infertile, wave-washed shorelines. This work has important lessons for managing both lakes and reservoirs.

The following list of work is divided into two categories -- effects of water levels and effects of exposure gradients. Before reading either of these in detail, however, some key overviews are recommended.

Key Readings

  •  Keddy, P.A. and L.H. Fraser. 2000. Four general principles for the management and conservation of wetlands in large lakes: the role of water levels, nutrients, competitive hierarchies and centrifugal organization. Lakes and Reservoirs: Research and Management 5:177-185. (Download PDF)

  • Keddy, P.A. 1992. Assembly and response rules: two goals for predictive community ecology. Journal of Vegetation Science 3: 157-164.(Download PDF)

  • Keddy, P.A. and A. A. Reznicek. 1986. Great Lakes vegetation dynamics: the role of fluctuating water levels and buried seeds. Journal of Great Lakes Research 12:25-36.(Download PDF)

Water Levels and Water-Level Fluctuations

  • Hill, N. M., P.A. Keddy and I. C. Wisheu. 1998. A hydrological model for predicting the effects of dams on the shoreline vegetation of lakes and reservoirs. Environmental Management 22: 723-736.

  • Toner, M., and P. Keddy. 1997. River hydrology and riparian wetlands: a predictive model for ecological assembly. Ecological Applications 7: 236-246.

  • Weiher, E., I. C. Wisheu, P.A. Keddy and D.R.J. Moore. 1996. Establishment, persistence, and management implications of experimental wetland plant communities. Wetlands 16: 208-218.

  • Boutin, C. and P. A. Keddy. 1993. A functional classification of wetland plants. Journal of Vegetation Science 4: 591-600.

  • Hill, N. and P.A. Keddy. 1992. Predicting numbers of rarities from habitat variables: coastal plain plants of Nova Scotian lakeshores. Ecology 73: 1852-1859

  • Shipley, B. S., P.A. Keddy and L. P. Lefkovitch. 1991. Mechanisms producing plant zonation along a water depth gradient: a comparison with the exposure gradient. Canadian Journal of Botany 69: 1420-1424.

  • Wisheu, I. C. and P.A. Keddy. 1991. Seed banks of a rare wetland plant community: distribution patterns and effects of human induced disturbance. Journal of Vegetation Science 2: 181-188.

  • Shipley, B., P.A. Keddy, D.R.J. Moore and K. Lemky. 1990. Regeneration and establishment strategies of emergent macrophytes. Journal of Ecology 77: 1093-1110.

  • Keddy, P.A. 1989. Effects of competition from shrubs on herbaceous wetland plants: a four year field experiment. Canadian Journal of Botany 67: 708-716.

  • Nilsson, C. and P.A. Keddy. 1988. Predictability of change in shoreline vegetation along a hydro electric reservoir, Northern Sweden. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 45:1896-1904.

  • Keddy, P.A. and A. A. Reznicek. 1982. The role of seed banks in the persistence of Ontario's coastal plain flora. American Journal of Botany 69:13-22.

  • Keddy, P.A. 1985. Lakeshore plants in the Tusket River Valley, Nova Scotia: the distribution and status of some rare species including Coreopsis rosea and Sabatia kennedyana.Rhodora 87:309-320.

Exposure Gradients

  • Weiher, E. and P.A. Keddy. 1995. The assembly of experimental wetland plant communities. Oikos 73: 323-335.

  • Gaudet, C.L. and P.A. Keddy. 1995. Competitive performance and species distribution in shoreline plant communities: a comparative approach. Ecology 76: 280-291.

  • Wisheu, I. C. and P.A. Keddy. 1994. The low competitive ability of Canada's Atlantic coastal plain shoreline flora: implications for conservation. Biological Conservation 68: 247-252.

  • Wisheu, I. C., C. J. Keddy, P.A. Keddy and N.M. Hill. 1994. Disjunct Atlantic coastal plain species in Nova Scotia: distribution, habitat and conservation priorities. Biological Conservation 68: 217-224.

  • Moore, D.R.J. and P.A. Keddy. 1989. The relationship between species richness and standing crop in wetlands: the importance of scale. Vegetation 79: 99-106.

  • Keddy, P.A. and I. C. Wisheu. 1989. Species richness-standing crop relationships along four lakeshore gradients: constraints on the general model. Canadian Journal of Botany 67: 1609-1617.

  • Keddy, P.A. and I. C. Wisheu. 1989. Ecology, biogeography and conservation of coastal plain plants: some general principles from the study of Nova Scotia wetlands. Rhodora 91: 72-94.

  • Moore, D.R.J., P.A. Keddy, C.L. Gaudet and I. C. Wisheu. 1989. Conservation of wetlands: do infertile wetlands deserve a higher priority? Biological Conservation 47: 203- 217

  • Wilson, S. D. and P.A. Keddy. 1986. Species competitive ability and position along a natural stress/disturbance gradient. Ecology 67:1236-1242.

  • Wilson, S. D. and P.A. Keddy. 1986. Measuring diffuse competition along an environmental gradient: results from a shoreline plant community. The American Naturalist 127: 862-869.

  • Keddy, P.A. 1985. Wave disturbance on lakeshores and the within-lake distribution of Ontario's Atlantic coastal plain flora. Canadian Journal of Botany 63:656-660.

  • Keddy, P.A. 1984. Quantifying a within-lake gradient of wave energy in Gillfillan Lake, Nova Scotia. Canadian Journal of Botany 62:301-309.

  • Keddy, P.A. 1983. Shoreline vegetation in Axe Lake, Ontario: effects of exposure on zonation patterns. Ecology 64: 331-344.

  • Keddy, P.A. 1982. Quantifying within-lake gradients of wave energy: Inter-relationships of wave energy, substrate particle size and shoreline plants in Axe Lake, Ontario. Aquatic Botany 14:41-58.

  • Keddy, P.A. 1981. Vegetation with Atlantic coastal plain affinities in Axe Lake, near Georgian Bay, Ontario. Canadian Field-Naturalist 95:241-248.

World's Largest Wetlands

Wetland Ecology


Four Priority Areas for the Protection of Eastern Coastal Plain Ecosystems

Louisiana Conservation Map

Readings on Louisiana

Ontario Coastal Plain Flora

Ottawa Valley

Purple Loosestrife

Web Resources