Study

Vascular and non-vascular plant community response to silvicultural practices and resultant microtopography creation in a forested wetland

  • Published source details Anderson H.M., Gale M.R., Jurgensen M.F. & Trettin C.C. (2007) Vascular and non-vascular plant community response to silvicultural practices and resultant microtopography creation in a forested wetland. Wetlands, 27, 68-79

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create mounds or hollows before planting trees/shrubs: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Create mounds or hollows before planting trees/shrubs: freshwater wetlands

    A controlled study in 1988–2000 in a freshwater swamp in Michigan, USA (Anderson et al. 2007) reported that creating ridges and ditches before re-planting harvested trees had no clear effect on plant species richness, and no significant effect on overall plant diversity, after 11–12 years. Amongst plots that were harvested then re-planted, those with created ridges and ditches had similar plant species richness (36–44 species/2 m2) to those with natural, unmodified ridges and ditches (39 species/2 m2; statistical significance not assessed). The same was true separately for richness of bryophytes (created: 18–20; natural: 18 species/2 m2), Sphagnum mosses (created: 6–7; natural: 7 species/2 m2), herbs (created: 11–12; natural: 10 species/2 m2) and woody plants (created: 7–12; natural: 11 species/2 m2). For comparison, unharvested plots – where trees were planted amongst natural ridges and ditches – contained 47 plant species/2 m2 (including 25 bryophytes, 12 Sphagnum mosses, 8 herbs and 14 woody species). Overall plant diversity was statistically similar in harvested/re-planted plots with created ridges, harvested/re-planted plots with natural ridges, and unharvested/planted plots (data reported as a diversity index). Methods: In 1988, all trees were cut and removed from three plots in a forested swamp. In two plots, microtopography (trenches and adjacent mounds) was created after harvesting, using a disc trencher or a plough. In the third plot, natural pits and mounds remaining after harvesting were not altered. An additional plot was not harvested and the natural microtopography was not altered. All plots were subsequently planted with tree seedlings. In 1999 and 2000, understory vegetation (<1 m tall) was surveyed in twenty 1,000-cm2 quadrats/area. Each quadrat contained a pit or trench, a mound and the slope between them.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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