Evaluating Responses of Four Wetland Plant Species to Different Hydroperiods
- C. E. Slusher,
- M. J. Vepraskas * and
- S. W. Broome
Previous work has estimated the hydroperiod requirements (saturation duration and frequency) of wetland plant communities by modeling their hydrologic regimes in natural (never drained) wetlands for a 40-yr period. This study tested the modeled predictions in a controlled greenhouse study using tree species representing three of the plant communities plus an additional species from another community. Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum L. Rich.), sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana L.), pond pine (Pinus serotina Michx.), and swamp chestnut oak (Quercus michauxii Nutt.) were grown under three hydroperiods (continuously ponded for 100 d, intermittently ponded for 14 d, and unsaturated) in loamy sand and sapric (organic) materials. Bald cypress (representing a Nonriverine Swamp Forest community) adapted well to 100 d of ponding by producing lateral roots near the soil surface and aerenchyma tissue in roots and stem. Sweet bay (Bay Forest community) also adapted well to 100 d of ponding by producing adventitious roots on the submerged portion of the stem. Pond pine (Pond Pine Woodland) and swamp chestnut oak (Nonriverine Wet Hardwood Forest) were intolerant of 100 d of ponded conditions. Seventy-five percent of the pond pine seedlings and 87% of the swamp chestnut oak seedlings died in the continuously ponded treatment level, whereas 100% of the bald cypress and 88% of the sweet bay seedlings survived. Results from this study suggest that modeled long-term hydroperiods of natural wetland plant communities can be used for restoration of these communities.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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