Restoring bottomland hardwood ecosystems in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley
Programs to restore southern bottomland hardwood forests to the floodplains of the Mississippi have been tested on Federal land and are now being applied to private holdings. The initial goals were to provide wildlife habitat and improve water quality, but other benefits—possible income from biomass and carbon credits—may make restoration cost-effective, even for small landowners. One challenge is finding the right mix of tree species that are adapted to soil saturation and root anoxia, can be planted and managed economically, and will produce a closed canopy and complex structure quickly. Bringing back the understory is another challenge.