, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 176–184 | Cite as

Marsh restoration in the presence of intense herbivory: The role ofJusticia lanceolata (Chapm.) small

  • Daniel W. Llewellyn
  • Gary P. Shaffer


Research in southern Louisiana over the last decade indicates that large expanses of mudflats are being maintained in an unvegetated state primarily by the rodent nutria (Myocastor coypus). At present, there is a dearth of work on managing wetlands in the presence of intense herbivory. The present study was undertaken to elucidate the potential in wetlands restoration ofJusticia lanceolata, a wetland plant that is resistant to herbivory by nutria. Results from a previous study indicate thatJ. lanceolata is effective at trapping sediments. Furthermore, once it is established and islet elevations are built up,J. lanceolata is readily outcompeted by other species of wetland vegetation.

Results from this study indicate thatJ. lanceolata has several other properties that render it amenable for use in marsh restoration in the southeastern region of the USA: (1) thousands of propagules can be obtained from a singleJ. lanceolata islet without mortality to the adult plants; (2) it is resistant to herbivory, perhaps to the extent of being a herbivore repellent; (3) it is resilient with respect to saline storm surges, particularly if followed by a freshwater flushing event; (4) it is well-adapted to flooded conditions.

Key Words

Justicia lanceolata nutria Myocastor coypus herbivore-resistant Louisiana fresh marsh wetlands restoration 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Allen, K. O. and J. W. Hardy. 1980. Influence of navigational dredging on fish and wildlife: a literature review. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Office of Biological Services, Washington, DC, USA. FWS/OBS-80/07.Google Scholar
  2. Atwood, F. G. 1950. Life history studies of nutria, or coypu in coastal Louisiana. Journal of Wildlife Management 14:249–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barnett, T. P. 1984. The estimation of “global” sea level change: a problem of uniqueness. Journal of Geophysical Research 89:7980–7988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bradford, K. J. and S. F. Yang. 1981. Physiological responses of plants to waterlogging. HortScience Special Insert 16:25–30.Google Scholar
  5. Braun-Blanquet, J. 1932. Plant sociology: the study of plant communities. (Transl. by G. D. Fuller and H. S. Conard) Transl. of first edition of Pfanzensoziologie (1928). McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  6. Chabreck, R. H., C. M. Hoffpair, and F. J. Weber. 1959. A study of nutria exclosures in southwest Louisiana. Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, New Orleans, LA, USA.Google Scholar
  7. Chabreck, R. H., J. R. Love, and G. Linscombe. 1981. Foods and feeding habits of nutria in brackish marsh in Louisiana. p. 531–543.In J. A. Chapman and D. Pursley (eds.) Worldwide Furbearer Conference Proceedings. Frostburg, MA, USA.Google Scholar
  8. Correll, D. S. and H. B. Correll. 1972. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of the Southwestern United States. Environmental Protection Agency. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, USA, No. 16030DNL.Google Scholar
  9. Correll, D. S. and M. C. Johnston. 1970. Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas. Texas Research Foundation, Renner, TX, USA.Google Scholar
  10. Cowardin, L. M., V. Carter, F. C. Golet, and E. T. LaRoe. 1979. Classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, USA. FWS/OBS-79/31.Google Scholar
  11. Crawford, R. M. M. 1982. Physiological responses to flooding. p. 453–477.In O. L. Lange, P. S. Nobel, C. B. Osmond, and H. Ziegler (eds.) Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology, New Series Vol. 12 B Physiological Plant Ecology II. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  12. Dozier, M. D., J. G. Gosselink, C. E. Sasser, and J. M. Hill. 1983. Wetland change in southwestern Barataria Basin, Louisiana, 1945–1980. Coastal Ecology Institute, Center for Wetland Resources, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA. LSU-C9L-83-11.Google Scholar
  13. Evans, J. 1970. About nutria and their control. U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, Denver, CO, USA. Resource Publication 86.Google Scholar
  14. Fernald, M. L. 1950. Gray’s Manual of Botany: Eighth Edition. American Book Company, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  15. Fuller, D. A., C. E. Sasser, W. B. Johnson, and J. G. Gosselink. 1985. The effects of herbivory on vegetation on islands in Atchafalaya Bay, Louisiana. Wetlands 4:105–114.Google Scholar
  16. Gagliano, S. M. 1981. Marsh deterioration and land loss in the deltaic plain of Louisiana. Special report to Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Committee, New Orleans, LA Coastal Environment, Inc., Baton Rouge, LA, USA.Google Scholar
  17. Gammill, S. 1992. Current technical assistance programs. p. 63–66.In Paul Coreil (ed.) Proceedings of the Nutria and Muskrat Management Symposium. LSU Agricultural Center-Cooperative Extension Service. Baton Rouge, LA.Google Scholar
  18. Gleason, H. A. 1968. Illustrated Flora of the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. Vol. 3: The Sympetalous Dicotyledoneae. Hafner Publishing Company Inc, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  19. Gorman, J., R. G. Wyn Jones, and E. McDonnell. 1985. Some mechanisms of salt tolerance in crop plants. Plant Soil 89:15–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gosling, L. M. 1981. The dynamics and control of a feral coypu population. p. 1805–1825.In J. A. Chapman and D. Pursley (eds.) Worldwide Furbearers Conference Proceedings. Volume 3. Frostburg, MD, USA.Google Scholar
  21. Greenway, H. and R. Munns. 1980. Mechanisms of salt tolerance in nonhalophytes. Annals of Plant Physiology 31:149–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Harris, V. T. and F. Webert. 1962. Nutria feeding activity and its effect on marsh vegetation in southeastern Louisiana. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, USA. Special Science Report, Wildlife Publication 64.Google Scholar
  23. Hook, D. D. 1984. Adaptations to flooding with freshwater. p. 265–294.In T. T. Kozlowski (ed.) Flooding and Plant Growth. Academic Press Inc., New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  24. Jackson, M. B. and M. C. Drew. 1984. Effects of flooding on growth and metabolism of herbaceous plants. p. 47–128.In T. T. Kozlowski (ed.) Flooding and Plant Growth. Academic Press Inc., New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  25. Johnson, W. B., C. E. Sasser, and J. G. Gosselink. 1985. Succession of vegetation in an evolving river delta, Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana. Journal of Ecology 73:973–986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Koch, M. S. and I. A. Mendelssohn. 1989. Sulfide as a soil phytotoxin: differential responses in two marsh species. Journal of Ecology 77:565–578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kozlowski, T. T. 1984. Plant responses to flooding of soil. Bio-Science 34:162–167.Google Scholar
  28. Krizek, D. T. 1982. Plant response to atmospheric stress caused by waterlogging. p. 293–334.In M.N. Christiansen and C.F. Lewis (eds.) Breeding Plants for Less Favorable Environments. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  29. Linscombe, G., N. Kinler, and V. Wright. 1980. Nutria population density and vegetative changes in brackish marsh in coastal Louisiana. p. 129–141.In Proceedings of the Worldwide Furbearer Conference. Frostburg, MD, USA.Google Scholar
  30. McKee, K. L. and I. A. Mendelssohn. 1988. Response of a freshwater marsh plant community to increased salinity and increased water level. Aquatic Botany 34:301–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mendelssohn, I. A. and K. L. McKee. 1988. Spartina alterniflora die-back in Louisiana: time-course investigation of soil waterlogging effects. Journal of Ecology 76:509–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mitsch, W. J. and J. G. Gosselink. 1986. Wetlands. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  33. Palmer, R. G. and F. R. Troeh. 1977. Introductory Soil Science Laboratory Manual, Second Edition. Iowa State University Press, Ames, IA, USA.Google Scholar
  34. Radford, A. E., H. E. Ahles, and C. R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.Google Scholar
  35. Roberts, H. H. and I. L. van Heerden. 1982. Reversal of coastal erosion by sedimentation: the Atchafalaya delta (south-central Louisiana). p. 214–231.In D. F. Boesch (ed.) Proceedings of the Conference on Coastal Erosion and Wetland Modification in Louisiana: Causes, Consequences, and Options. U.S. Fish and Wildife Service, Biological Services Program, Washington, DC, USA. FWS/OBS-82/59.Google Scholar
  36. Roberts, J. K. M., F. H. Andrade, and I. C. Anderson. 1985. Further evidence that cytoplasmic acidosis is a determinant of flooding intolerance in plants. Plant Physiology 77:492–494.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Salinas, L. M., R. D. DeLaune, and W. H. Patrick, Jr. 1986. Changes occurring along a rapidly submerging coastal area: Louisiana, USA. Journal of Coastal Research 2:269–284.Google Scholar
  38. SAS Institute, Inc. 1985. SAS User’s Guide: Statistics, Version 5 edition. Cary, NC, USA.Google Scholar
  39. Schultes, R. E. 1990. Justicia (Acanthaceae) as a Source of an Hallucinogenic Snuff. Economic Botany 44:61–70.Google Scholar
  40. Shaffer, G. P., C. E. Sasser, J. G. Gosselink, and M. Rejmanek. 1992. Vegetation dynamics in the emerging Atchafalaya delta, Louisiana, USA. Journal of Ecology 80:677–687.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Shirley, M. G., R. H. Chabreck, and G. Lindscombe. 1981. Foods of nutria in fresh marshes of southeastern Louisiana. p. 517–530.In D. A. Chapman and D. Pursley (eds.) Worldwide Furbearer Conference Proceedings. Frostburg, MA, USA.Google Scholar
  42. Steel, R. G. D. and J. H. Torrie. 1980. Principles and Procedures of Statistics: a Biometrical Approach. McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  43. Tarver, J. G., G. Linscombe, and N. Kinler. 1987. Fur Animals, Alligators and the fur industry in Louisiana. Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.Google Scholar
  44. Templet, P. H. 1987. A proposed regional approach to wetland loss.In Proceedings of National Wetland Symposium: mitigation of impacts and losses. New Orleans, Association of State Wetlands Managers. New Orleans, LA, USA.Google Scholar
  45. Templet, P. H. and K. J. Meyer-Arendt. 1988. Louisiana wetland loss: a regional water management approach to the problem. Environmental Managment 12:181–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Thomas, R.D. and C. M. Allen. 1982. Contributions to the Herbarium of Northeast Louisiana University, Number 3: A preliminary checklist of the Dicotyledons of Louisiana. Northeast Louisiana University, Monroe, LA, USA.Google Scholar
  47. Tilman, D. 1990. Mechanisms of plant competition for nutrients. p. 117–139.In J. B. Grace and D. Tilman (eds.) Perspectives on Plant Competition. Academic Press, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  48. Wilsey, B. J., R. H. Chabreck, and G. Linscombe. 1991. Variation in nutria diets in selected freshwater forested wetlands of Louisiana. Wetlands 11:263–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel W. Llewellyn
    • 1
  • Gary P. Shaffer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesSoutheastern Louisiana UniversityHammond

Personalised recommendations