Date of Award

Spring 4-23-2020

Semester of Degree


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental and Forest Biology


Environmental Science, Division of

Major Professor

Michael Schummer

Steering Committee Member

Don Leopold

Steering Committee Member

John Coluccy

Steering Committee Member

Doug Tozer


Wetland managers use water draw downs to increase productivity of wetland vegetation, especially to benefit foraging waterfowl. I sought to identify effects of three water draw down treatments done over three years (full and partial water draw down, and passive wetlands) on plant community and bird abundance in wetlands of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex in central New York. I detected few plant community differences during summer, but during autumn I detected greater vegetative forage quality index, annual plant cover and seed density in full and partial draw downs and greater vegetation height variation in passive and partial draw downs. Bird abundance was greater in summer in passive wetlands and greater in autumn in full draw downs. During spring migration, duck densities were greater in full and partial draw downs. Management should target full draw downs and passive wetlands to benefit the greatest number and diversity of wetland dependent bird species.