Walters, Timothy .
Revegetation through natural seed bank expression following invasive Rhamnus removal in the Oak Openings region of northwestern Ohio.
The Oak Openings region of northwestern Ohio was formed from the remnants of a 12,000 year old glacial lake. What remains of these ancient beaches and sand bars are low dunes, sand prairies and groundwater-driven wet prairies. Although the Oak Openings region covers less than 0.5% of Ohio's total land area, roughly one third of Ohio's rare plant species are contained within this region. Interdunal emergent wet prairies, typified by high diversity of graminoides such as Carex lasiocarpa and Cladium mariscoides contain over one third of these rare species. Many of these wetlands have been invaded by Rhamnus frangula that now covers 80-90 percent of the community. In these areas, species diversity and rare species richness have significantly decreased. Land managers have targeted these areas for restoration in order to reestablish native vegetation. 100 m^2 quantitative vegetation plots were monitored pre- and post-buckthorn removal to determine treatment effectiveness and the ability of the community to recover from the seed bank. Following initial monitoring, all sites were cleared and herbicide applied to Rhamnus stumps. In the first year after treatment, Rhamnus dropped from a relative cover of 65-90 percent to less than five percent. Species richness, cover of rare species, percent vegetative cover and cover quality were all similar or declined slightly after the initial treatment. The second year after removal, all of these measurements had increased to well above pre-treatment levels. The overall success of the site was also dependent on follow-up management through prescribed burning or spot herbicide treatment. Sites without follow-up treatments had Rhamnus levels higher than pre-treatment levels. It was determined that a diverse seed bank was present under even thick Rhamnus cover and that community recovery was possible without overseeding; however, followup treatment was crucial to the successful establishment of native plant communities.
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1 - EnviroScience Inc., 6027 County Road 1, Swanton, OH, 43558, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Location: Union C/Hyatt
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Time: 2:15 PM