Effect of transplant size on establishment of prairie cordgrass Spartina pectinata in restoration of wet prairie near Somerset, Kansas, USA

  • Published source details Fraser A. & Kindscher K. (2005) Spatial distribution of Spartina pectinata transplants to restore wet prairie. Restoration Ecology, 13, 144-151


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Transplant or replace blocks of vegetation: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Transplant or replace blocks of vegetation: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, site comparison study in 1999–2001 in a floodplain wet prairie in Kansas, USA (Fraser & Kindscher 2005) reported 90% survival of transplanted prairie cordgrass Spartina pectinata sods over three growing seasons, found that smaller sods increased in size and area, and found that transplanted cordgrass was shorter and less dense than in reference prairies. Sixty plots were planted with 1–20 cordgrass sods, with a total area of about 0.65 m2/plot. After three growing seasons, 90% of all transplanted cordgrass sods contained at least one living stem (range 73–100% for different initial sod sizes and planting elevations). The total area of prairie cordgrass had increased in plots planted with small sods (to 3.6 m2/plot) or medium sods (to 1.0 m2/plot) but had decreased in plots planted with one large sod (to 0.4 m2/plot). This reflected changes in the average size of individual sods (see original paper for data). After three growing seasons, prairie cordgrass was shorter and less dense in planted sods (127 cm tall; 91 stems/m2) than in pristine or source prairies (184–192 cm tall; 257–303 stems/m2). Methods: In June 1999, five-hundred cordgrass sods were transplanted from roadside areas to a recently restored wet prairie (historically farmed, sown with mixed prairie seeds in April 1999). Twenty 400-m2 plots were planted with each sod number/size combination (twenty 0.03-m2 sods; four 0.17-m2 sods; or one 0.65-m2 sod). Plots had varying elevations (moisture levels). Sods were monitored in September 1999, 2000 and 2001. Cordgrass height and density were also surveyed in nearby pristine wet prairies and source roadside prairies.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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