Factors Affecting Revegetation of Carex lacustris and Carex stricta from Rhizomes

Authors

  • Leslie A. Yetka,

    1. University of Minnesota , Department of Horticultural Science, 305 Alderman, 1970 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108, U.S.A.
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  • Susan M. Galatowitsch

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Minnesota , Department of Horticultural Science, 305 Alderman, 1970 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108, U.S.A.
       Address correspondence to S. M. Galatowitsch.
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 Address correspondence to S. M. Galatowitsch.

Abstract

The revegetation of sedge meadows has been problematic because natural recolonization does not occur under many circumstances and because planted propagules often fail to reestablish successfully. In this study, detached rhizomes of Carex lacustris Willd. and Carex stricta Lam. were transplanted in both fall (September) and spring (May) into three experimental wetlands to determine the effects of both planting season and hydrology on survival and establishment. Each experimental wetland had the same mean water depth across 5% slopes, but one had a constant water depth (0.5 m) throughout the growing season, another fell from a mean depth of 0.75 m to 0.25 m, and a third rose from a mean depth of 0.25 m to 0.75 m. Initial rhizome survival, shoot growth, and soil characteristics were recorded over 2 years. Neither planting proved successful (6.9% versus 0.5%) for C. stricta, a tussock-forming sedge. For C. lacustris, a sedge with spreading rhizomes, spring planting had greater rhizome survival (53.2% survival) than fall planting (0.7%). Since both species initiate new shoots in the fall, they are susceptible to transplant failure during this season. The highest survival rates (71–100%) and plant production (736.0 and 494.5 g/m2) for C. lacustris occurred near the water’s edge in both the constant and falling basins. In the rising basin, establishment and growth of this species was high at all water depths (71–96%; 399 g/m2). C. lacustris grew optimally at the same elevations where rhizome survival was greatest, suggesting that shoots are more sensitive to early-season than late-season water levels.

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