Study

Growing Spartina pectinata in previously farmed prairie wetlands for economic and ecological benefits

  • Published source details Zilverberg C.J., Johnson W.C., Boe A., Owens V., Archer D.W., Novotny C., Volke M. & Werner B. (2014) Growing Spartina pectinata in previously farmed prairie wetlands for economic and ecological benefits. Wetlands, 34, 853-864.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Introduce seeds of non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Directly plant non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Directly plant non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Introduce seeds of non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated, before-and-after study in 2010–2013 aiming to restore an ephemeral freshwater marsh on cropland in South Dakota, USA (Zilverberg et al. 2014) reported that sown prairie cordgrass Spartina pectinata occurred in 0–67% of sampled quadrats after two growing seasons and 31–78% of sampled quadrats after four, depending on elevation. After two growing seasons, 0–10% of quadrats at low elevations (≤10 cm from wetland bottom) and 57–67% of quadrats at higher elevations (>10 cm from wetland bottom) contained at least one cordgrass stem. After four growing seasons, cordgrass plants had spread (possibly from adjacent plots with transplanted cordgrass). There was at least one stem in 15–31% of quadrats at low elevations and 66–78% of quadrats at higher elevations. The height and above-ground biomass of cordgrass were greatest at mid-low elevations (see original paper). Methods: Four plots were established in a historically cultivated ephemeral wetland. Each plot ran perpendicular to the slope of the wetland, so included a range of elevations. Spring floodwaters were typically 50 cm deep. In spring 2010, each plot was sown with cordgrass seed (10 kg/ha). All plots were mown once in 2011 to control weeds. Each autumn from 2011 to 2013, cordgrass presence and height were surveyed in 1-m2 quadrats along the length of each plot. Biomass was sampled in 2013 only.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Directly plant non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated, before-and-after study in 2010–2013 in a seasonally flooded depression on farmland in South Dakota, USA (Zilverberg et al. 2014) reported that planted prairie cordgrass Spartina pectinata occurred in 65–86% of sampled quadrats after two growing seasons and 90–100% of quadrats after four, depending on elevation. Two growing seasons after planting, 65% of quadrats at low elevations (≤10 cm from wetland bottom) and 86% of quadrats at higher elevations (>10 cm from wetland bottom) contained at least one cordgrass stem. Four growing seasons after planting, cordgrass plants had spread and there was at least one stem in 100% of quadrats at low elevations and 90% of quadrats at higher elevations. Methods: Four plots were established in a historically cultivated ephemeral wetland. Each plot ran perpendicular to the slope of the wetland, so included a range of elevations. Spring floodwaters were typically 50 cm deep. In spring 2010, each plot was planted with >760 greenhouse-reared cordgrass plugs (90 cm apart). All plots were mown once in 2011 to control weeds. Each autumn from 2011 to 2013, cordgrass presence was surveyed in 1-m2 quadrats along the length of each plot. This study used the same farm as (18), but used a different experimental set-up.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  3. Directly plant non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated study in 2008–2013 in two seasonally flooded depressions on farmland in South Dakota, USA (Zilverberg et al. 2014) reported 91% survival of transplanted prairie cordgrass Spartina pectinata after one growing season. The study also measured wet, above-ground vegetation biomass. After two growing seasons, cordgrass biomass was greater in plots with closely spaced transplants (0.9 m apart: 4 Mg/ha) than loosely spaced transplants (1.5 m apart: 2 Mg/ha). After 3–6 growing seasons, total above-ground biomass (including plants other than cordgrass) did not significantly differ between transplant density treatments (closely spaced: 10–16 Mg/ha; loosely spaced: 8–14 Mg/ha). Methods: In May–July 2008, greenhouse-reared cordgrass plugs were transplanted into two historically cultivated, ephemeral wetlands (corn and soybean fields in the years before planting). Half of each wetland was planted at each transplant spacing. The wetlands were sprayed with herbicide before planting, and individual invasive plants were sprayed or pulled up after planting. Cordgrass survival was monitored in October 2008. Between 2009 and 2013, vegetation was cut from an average of twenty-four 1-m2 quadrats/wetland/year, then weighed in the field. This study used the same farm as (17), but used a different experimental set-up.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references
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