Study

Short-term responses of wetland vegetation after liming of an Adirondack watershed

  • Published source details Mackun I.R., Leopold D.J. & Raynal D.J. (1994) Short-term responses of wetland vegetation after liming of an Adirondack watershed. Wetlands, 4, 535-543.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Add lime or similar chemicals: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Add lime or similar chemicals: freshwater swamps

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Add lime or similar chemicals: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 1989–1991 of marsh vegetation around a lake in New York State, USA (Mackun et al. 1994) found that catchment liming had no significant effect on the absolute and relative abundance of most plant taxa. This was true for cover of 45 of 49 plant taxa, frequency of 48 of 49 taxa, and relative abundance of 48 of 49 taxa. Liming increased cover of one taxon, sawtooth sedge Cladium mariscus (before intervention: 1–2% cover; limed areas after two years: 6% cover; unlimed areas after two years: 1% cover). Liming reduced, or prevented increases in, cover of two taxa (sundew Drosera intermedia, bog muhly Muhlenbergia uniflora) and frequency of one (lesser St. John’s wort Hypericum canadense; see original paper for data). Cover of one taxon – inland sedge Carex interior – was low and stable in limed areas (before: 0.3%; two years after: 0.2%) but declined, albeit from much greater values, in unlimed areas (before: 1.4%; two years later: 0.3%). Methods: In October 1989, pelleted limestone was added by helicopter to two of five subcatchments around Woods Lake (1,100 Mg of limestone across 100 ha). The other three subcatchments were not limed. Plant taxa and their cover were surveyed in marshes around the lake, in summer before liming (1989) and for two years after (1990, 1991). “No significant effect” in this study means that differences or similarities between limed and unlimed subcatchments before intervention persisted after intervention. Surveys were completed in 50 permanent 1-m2 quadrats (21 in limed marshes; 29 in unlimed marshes). Substrate pH was 4.5 before liming, then 6.6 in limed areas and 5.0 in unlimed areas.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Add lime or similar chemicals: freshwater swamps

    A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 1989–1991 of shrubby wetland vegetation around a lake in New York State, USA (Mackun et al. 1994) found that catchment liming had no significant effect on the absolute and relative abundance of most plant taxa. This was true for cover of 48 of 49 plant taxa, frequency of all 49 taxa, and relative abundance of all 49 taxa. Exceptionally, cover of Sphagnum spp. mosses was low and stable in limed areas (before: 1.0%; two years after: 0.9%) compared to a decline, albeit from a much greater value, in unlimed areas (before: 4%; two years later: 2.6%). Methods: In October 1989, pelleted limestone was added by helicopter to two of five subcatchments around Woods Lake (1100 Mg of limestone across 100 ha). The other three subcatchments were not limed. Plant taxa and their cover were surveyed in shrubby wetland vegetation around the lake, in summer before liming (1989) and for two years after (1990, 1991). “No significant effect” in this study means that differences or similarities between limed and unlimed subcatchments before intervention persisted after intervention. Surveys were completed in 52 permanent 1-m2 quadrats (18 in limed marshes; 34 in unlimed marshes). Substrate pH was 4.0–4.2 before liming, then 5.0–6.5 in limed areas and still 4.0–4.2 in unlimed areas.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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