Study

Transplanting native dominant plants to facilitate community development in restored coastal plain wetlands

  • Published source details De Steven D. & Sharitz R.R. (2007) Transplanting native dominant plants to facilitate community development in restored coastal plain wetlands. Wetlands, 27, 972-978.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore/create freshwater marshes or swamps (multiple actions)

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Directly plant non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Restore/create freshwater marshes or swamps (multiple actions)

    A replicated study in 2000–2004 of 12 ephemeral freshwater wetland restoration sites in South Carolina, USA (De Steven & Sharitz 2007) reported that following multiple interventions, the sites developed vegetation cover including wetland-characteristic species. Approximately one year after intervention, overall vegetation cover was 48% (wetland-characteristic species: 23%) and there were 11.4 plant species/4 m2 (wetland-characteristic: 4.9). Approximately three years after intervention, overall vegetation cover was 90% (wetland-characteristic: 54%) and there were 8.7 plant species/4 m2 (wetland-characteristic: 4.7 species/4 m2). Methods: In 2000–2001, twelve degraded wetlands (≤2 ha; drained and overgrown by facultative wetland trees) were restored by plugging drainage ditches, cutting and removing existing trees, and applying herbicide to resprouting stumps. Some of the wetlands were also sparsely planted with seedlings of wetland-characteristic trees; see Barton et al. (2004) and (12). In August 2002 and 2004, plant species and cover (excluding resprouting trees) were recorded in one 4-m2 quadrat/wetland. The first survey was during a drought, but the second after normal rainfall. The wetlands in this study were also used in (10) and (12).

    Additional Reference: Barton C.D., De Steven D. & Kilgo J.C. (2004) Mitigation bank promotes research on restoring coastal plain depression wetlands. Ecological Restoration, 22, 291–292.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Directly plant non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2001–2004 in 12 ephemeral freshwater wetlands undergoing restoration in South Carolina, USA (De Steven & Sharitz 2007) found that plots planted with southern cutgrass Leersia hexandra and maidencane Panicum hemitomon had greater cover of wetland-characteristic vegetation than unplanted plots, but similar overall vegetation cover and species richness. After approximately three years, planted plots had greater cover of wetland-characteristic vegetation (overall: 65–79%; cutgrass and maidencane: 41–66%) than unplanted plots (overall: 54%; cutgrass and maidencane: 0%). However, total vegetation cover did not significantly differ between treatments (planted: 87–100%; unplanted: 90%). The same was true for plant species richness: both for wetland-characteristic species, including cutgrass and maidencane (planted: 3.8–4.1 species/4 m2; unplanted: 4.7 species/4 m2) and all species (planted: 6.8–7.4 species/4 m2; unplanted: 8.7 species/4 m2). The study also reported data from one year after intervention, during a drought (see original paper). Methods: Twenty-four plots (each 80–150 m2) were established across 12 wetlands undergoing restoration (drainage ditches plugged and trees cleared in 2000–2001). In April–May 2001, southern cutgrass and maidencane were each transplanted into 12 plots (1 plot/wetland; 2–3 plants/m2, giving 1–4% cover). In August 2002 and 2004, plant species and cover (excluding resprouting trees) were recorded in three 4-m2 quadrats/wetland: one quadrat/plot and one in the adjacent, unplanted area.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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