Adaptive Management Philosophy

Over the past few years our research group has been shifting towards restoration experiments that are implemented on a large enough scale to have real-world conservation value. At the same time, we use replication and identify and manipulate factors that have the potential to drive substantial improvements to the functioning of the wetland systems we work in. 

The flow-diagram shown above uses our frogbit management project at Munuscong Marsh to demonstrate the adaptive management process. It starts with an observation, in this case the observation that frogbit seems to co-occur with invasive cattail. Each time this process is repeated, it will further refine the management strategy used to address invasive frogbit in the Great Lakes region.

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Caption: This series of diagrams shows how LUC facilitates knowledge production though grant writing and collaboration with other research institutions and on-the-ground management groups.

1)      We wrote a grant and received funding from the Michigan DNR to implement a study that investigates Best Management Practices (BMPs) for invasive frogbit. Money from this grant helped fund graduate students from Boise State and Oregon State universities, and it helped the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians and the Chippewa, Luce and Mackinaw County Conservation District hire seasonal field technicians throughout the summer of 2016.

2)      While the field technicians worked on their organizations’ projects for most of the summer, for the two weeks during which we established our large-scale restoration experiment we were able to mobilize a sizeable collaborative workforce. The knowledge generated by our experiment will help inform the DNR of BMPs to be used for invasive frogbit.

3)      The DNR will help disseminate this information to management groups throughout the region.

4)      These groups will more effectively be able to improve the ecological functioning of Great Lakes coastal wetlands.