Study

Establishment of native aquatic plants for fish habitat: test plantings in two North Texas reservoirs

  • Published source details Doyle R.D., Smart R.M., Guest C. & Bickel K. (1997) Establishment of native aquatic plants for fish habitat: test plantings in two North Texas reservoirs. Lake and Reservoir Management, 13, 259-269.

Summary

Action: Directly plant whole macrophytes

A replicated study in 1994–1995 in a reservoir in Texas, USA (Doyle et al. 1997) reported up to 78–100% survival of planted tape grass Vallisneria americana over one growing season, and 100% cover in intact exclosures after two growing seasons. All 45 plants within exclosures were alive one growing season after planting. Outside exclosures, seven of nine plants were alive. After two growing seasons, five exclosures remained intact. These had 100% tape grass cover. Tape grass stands had expanded up to 2 m outside the exclosures. Two damaged exclosures were also monitored. They had 20–60% tape grass cover. Methods: In April 1994, fifty-four nursery-reared tape grass plants were planted into North Lake. Five plants were planted in each of nine exclosures (4 m2, 2 m tall, 2.5 cm mesh). One plant was planted outside each exclosure. The water was 60–80 cm deep. Survival was monitored in August 1994. Cover was visually estimated in October 1995.

 

Action: Directly plant whole macrophytes

A replicated study in 1994–1995 in a reservoir in Texas, USA (Doyle et al. 1997) reported 0–100% survival of planted water stargrass Heteranthera dubia and American pondweed Potamogeton nodosus over one growing season, and 0–100% cover in intact exclosures after two growing seasons. One growing season after planting, the survival rate of planted individuals was 20–100% within undamaged exclosures, but 0% in damaged exclosures or outside exclosures. After two growing seasons, 19 exclosures remained intact. Of these, 12 had 100% cover of the planted species, one had 50–75% cover, and six had 0% cover. These final six exclosures suffered from “heavy” sediment deposition. Methods: In April 1994, nursery-reared pots of vegetation were planted in Lewisville Lake: a turbid reservoir with fluctuating water levels. Fifty nursery-reared plants (rooted cuttings) were planted in each of 27 exclosures (4 m2, 2 m tall, 2.5 cm mesh). Ten pots were planted in a cluster outside each exclosure. There were 18 exclosure/outside parings for star grass and nine for pondweed. Survival was monitored in August 1994. Cover was visually estimated in September 1995.

 

Action: Use fences or barriers to protect planted areas

A replicated, paired study in 1994 in a reservoir in Texas, USA (Doyle et al. 1997) reported that fencing to exclude herbivores increased the survival rate of planted tape grass Vallisneria americana over one growing season. Statistical significance was not assessed. The survival rate was 100% for tape grass planted within exclosures (45 of 45 plants) but only 78% for tape grass planted outside exclosures (7 of 9 plants). Methods: In April 1994, nine exclosures (4 m2, 2 m tall, 2.5 cm mesh) were established in North Lake: a shallow, clear reservoir. Five nursery-reared tape grass plants were planted within each exclosure. One plant was planted just outside each exclosure. Survival was monitored in August 1994.

 

Action: Use fences or barriers to protect planted areas

A replicated, paired study in 1994 in a reservoir in Texas, USA (Doyle et al. 1997) reported that fencing to exclude herbivores increased the survival rate of planted macrophytes over one growing season. Statistical significance was not assessed. The survival rate of water stargrass Heteranthera dubia was 60–100% within intact exclosures, vs 0% in damaged exclosures or outside exclosures. The survival rate of American pondweed Potamogeton nodosus was 20–100% within intact exclosures, vs 0% in damaged exclosures or outside exclosures. Methods: In April 1994, twenty-seven exclosures (4 m2, 2 m tall, 2.5 cm mesh) were established in Lewisville Lake: a turbid reservoir with fluctuating water levels. Fifty nursery-reared plants (rooted cuttings) were planted within each exclosure. Ten pots of the same species were planted in a cluster just outside. There were 18 exclosure/outside parings for star grass and nine for pondweed. Survival was monitored in August 1994.

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