Study

Restoration of threadleaf sedge Carex filifolia by plug-planting at Scotts Bluff National Monument National Park, Nebraska, USA

  • Published source details Tunnell S.J. & Stubbendieck J. (2005) Restoration of threadleaf sedge. Report submitted to Scotts Bluff National Monument National Park Service, July 2005. Dept. of Agronomy & Horticulture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA (added by: Showler D.A. 2010).

Summary

Threadleaf sedge Carex filifolia is a main component of native prairie vegetation at Scotts Bluff National Monument (SCBL) in Nebraska, central USA. Threadleaf sedge transplants are required for restoration because seeding methods have not been developed and sufficient seed is unavailable.

Experiments were conducted in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 to assess greenhouse growth and field survival of transplanted threadleaf sedge as influenced by soil fertility.
 
Small sods of threadleaf sedge were collected at SCBL in early November 2002 and 2003. At the University of Nebraska, these were divided and over 7,000 individual plants planted into plastic cells (3.8 cm diameter, 20 cm depth) containing a loamy soil-sand mix. In the greenhouse, a subsample was treated with one of four rates of fertilizer: 1) no fertilizer (control), 2) 20 ppm NPK, 3) 40 ppm NPK, and 4) 60 ppm NPK. Prior to treatment application, plants were clipped to 2.5 cm height.
 
After six months growth in the greenhouse, sedge plants were transplanted at two restoration sites at SCBL in 6 x 6 m plots using a randomized block design (four blocks). Survival was monitored at six and 12 months subsequent to planting out.

In the greenhouse, fertilizer application resulted in significantly increased aboveground and belowground biomass of sedge plants. Greatest increases occurred with the 60 ppm NPK treatment (e.g. in 2003, average aboveground biomass 0.253 g and belowground boimass1.165 g; compared with the control, 0.202 g and 0.931g respectively).

There was no significant difference in field survival among the fertilizer treatments (range 79-88% survival in 2003; 22-33% in 2004), thus fertilizer application in the greenhouse did not enhance subsequent survival after planting out. In 2003, 12-month threadleaf sedge survival averaged 82%, and in 2004, 29%. In 2004, the reduced survival was attributed to greater herbivory, drier growing conditions, increased competition from annual weedsand greater soil disturbance due to pocket gopher Geomys bursarius activity.
 
 
Note: If using or referring to this published study, please read and quote the original paper, this can be viewed at: http://snr.unl.edu/gpcesu/final%20abstracts/Threadleaf%20sage.pdf

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