Study

Restoring diversity after cattail expansion: disturbance, resilience, and seasonality in a tropical dry wetland

  • Published source details Osland M.J., González E. & Richardson C.J. (2011) Restoring diversity after cattail expansion: disturbance, resilience, and seasonality in a tropical dry wetland. Ecological Applications, 21, 715-728

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use grazing to control problematic plants: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Physically damage problematic plants: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Use grazing to control problematic plants: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2007–2008 in an ephemeral freshwater marsh in Costa Rica (Osland et al. 2011) found that amongst plots in which invasive southern cattail Typha domingensis was damaged, cattle grazing typically had no significant effect on the overall plant community composition, diversity or richness. Over 15 months, grazed and ungrazed plots had a statistically similar overall plant community composition (five of five comparisons; data not reported) and plant diversity (five of five comparisons; data reported as a diversity index). Plant species richness did not significantly differ between treatments in three of five comparisons (grazed: 5–10; ungrazed: 6–11 species/3 m2) but was lower in grazed plots in the other two (grazed: 4–7; ungrazed: 6–8 species/3 m2). After both three and 15 months, cattail properties did not significantly differ between grazed and ungrazed plots. This was true in terms of height (grazed: 7–74; ungrazed: 21–73 cm), density (grazed: 1–4; ungrazed: 1–4 shoots/m2) and dry above-ground biomass (grazed: 0–135; ungrazed: 5–95 g/m2). Methods: In February 2007, cattail-dominated vegetation was damaged (by driving over it in a tractor with large paddle wheels) in 15 pairs of 20-m2 plots. Cattle were then allowed to graze one plot in each pair. The other plots were fenced to exclude cattle. After 2–16 months, vegetation was surveyed in three 1-m2 quadrats/plot.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Physically damage problematic plants: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2007–2008 in an ephemeral freshwater marsh invaded by southern cattail Typha domingensis in Costa Rica (Osland et al. 2011) found that damaging cattail stands with paddled tractor wheels changed the overall plant community composition, and increased overall plant diversity but typically not richness. Over 15 months after intervention, damaged and undamaged plots consistently differed in overall plant community composition (six of six comparisons; data reported as a graphical analysis). Damaged plots had higher plant diversity than undamaged plots (six of six comparisons; data reported as a diversity index), with a greater abundance of individual plant species other than cattail (see original paper for data). Plant species richness did not significantly differ between treatments in four of six comparisons (damaged: 4–10; not damaged: 3–8 species/3 m2) but was higher in disturbed plots in the other two (damaged: 5–6; not damaged: 3–4 species/3 m2). At both three and 15 months after intervention, there was less cattail in damaged than undamaged plots. This was true in terms of height (damaged: 7–74; not damaged: 248–262 cm), density (damaged: 1–4; not damaged: 10–13 shoots/m2) and dry above-ground biomass (damaged: 0–135; not damaged: 557–662 g/m2). Methods: Fifteen pairs of 20-m2 plots were established in a degraded, cattail-invaded marsh. In February 2007, cattail-dominated vegetation was damaged (crushed and partly pulled up) in one plot/pair by driving over it in a tractor with large paddle wheels (locally called fangueo). The other plots were left undisturbed. Between March 2007 and April 2008, vegetation was surveyed in three permanent 1-m2 quadrats/plot. This study used the same marsh as (4), but a different experimental set-up.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references

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