Document Type


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Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Division of Forestry and Natural Resources


Research and field monitoring can disturb wetland integrity. Adoption of ethical field practices is needed to limit monitoring induced stressors such as trampling, non-native seed and invertebrate dispersal, and disease and fungal spread. We identify a linear pathway of deterioration highlighting stressors that can progress to cumulative impacts, consequences, and losses at the site scale. The first step to minimize disturbance is to assess and classify the current ecosystem quality. We present a tiered framework for wetland classification and link preventative measures to the wetland tier. Preventative measures are recommended at various intensities respective to the wetland tier, with higher tiered wetlands requiring more intense preventative measures. In addition, preventative measures vary by time of implementation (before, during, and after the wetland visit) to mitigate impacts at various temporal scales. The framework is designed to increase transparency of field monitoring impacts and to promote the adoption of preventative measures. Implementing preventative measures can build accountability and foster a greater appreciation for our roles as researchers and managers in protecting wetlands.

Source Citation

Bryzek, J.A.; Noe, K.L.; De Silva, S.; MacKenzie, A.; Von Haugg, C.L.; Hartman, D.; McCall, J.E.; Veselka, W., IV; Anderson, J.T. Obligations of Researchers and Managers to Respect Wetlands: Practical Solutions to Minimizing Field Monitoring Impacts. Land 2022, 11, 481.


© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

This article received support from the WVU Libraries' Open Access Author Fund.



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