Accelerating the Restoration of Vegetation in a Southern California Salt Marsh Article Received: 29 June 2004 Accepted: 29 July 2005 Abstract
Re-establishing plant cover is essential for restoring ecosystem functions, but revegetation can be difficult in severe sites, such as salt marshes that experience hypersalinity and sedimentation. We tested three treatments (adding tidal creeks, planting seedlings in tight clusters, and rototilling kelp compost into the soil) in a site that was excavated to reinstate tidal flows and restore salt marsh. The magnitude of responses was the reverse of expectations, with tidal creeks having the least effect and kelp compost the most. On the marsh plain, kelp compost significantly increased soil organic matter (by 17% at 0–5 cm;
p = 0.026 and 11.5% at 5–20 cm; p = 0.083), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (45% at 5–8 cm; p < 0.001) and inorganic nitrogen (35% at 5–8 cm; p < 0.006), and decreased bulk density (16% at 0–5 cm; p < 0.001 and 21% at 5–8 cm depth; p < 0.001) compared to control plots. Survivorship of kelp compost treated plantings increased, along with growth (> 50% increase in a growth index at 20 months after planting; p < 0.0001). In Spartina foliosa plots, kelp compost did not affect soil organic matter, but plants were taller (by ~11 cm; p = 0.003) and denser (47% more stems; p = 0.003). Planting seedlings 10-cm apart in tight clusters on the marsh plain increased survivorship by 18% (compared to 90-cm apart in loose clusters; p = 0.053), but not growth. Tidal creek networks increased survivorship of Batis maritima and Jaumea carnosa by ≥20% ( p = 0.060 and 0.077, respectively). Kelp compost had a strong, positive influence on vegetation establishment by ameliorating some of the abiotic stress. Keywords Cluster planting Halophyte establishment Halophyte growth Soil amendment Spartina foliosa Tidal creek Wetland References
American Kelp Corporation 2003. http://organa.cc/KEL-FIBER%20232.htmPO Box 370178, San Diego, California, 92137, USA.
Google Scholar Adam, P. 1990Salt Marsh Ecology Cambridge University Press Cambridge, UK Google Scholar
APHA (American Public Health Association), AWWA (American Water Works Association), and Water Environment Federation 1995. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater.19th edn. Washington DC, USA.
Google Scholar Bakker, J.P., Esseline, P., Dijkeme, K.S., Duin, W.E., Jong, D.J. 2002 Restoration of salt marshes in the Netherlands Hydrobiologia 478 29 51 CrossRef Google Scholar Bertness, M.D., Hacker, S.D. 1994 Physical stress and positive associations among marsh plants Am. Nat. 144 363 372 CrossRef Google Scholar Bertness, M.D., Shumway, S.W. 1993 Competition and facilitation in marsh plants Am. Nat. 142 718 724 CrossRef PubMed Google Scholar Bledsoe, B.P., Shear, T.H. 2000 Vegetation along hydrologic and edaphic gradients in a North Carolina coastal plain creek bottom and implications for restoration Wetlands 20 126 147 Google Scholar Boeken, B., Shachak, M. 1994 Desert plant communities in human-made patches – implications for management Ecol. Appl. 4 702 716 Google Scholar Boyer, K.E., Zedler, J.B. 1998 Effects of nitrogen additions on the vertical structure of a constructed cordgrass marsh Ecol. Appl. 8 692 705 Google Scholar Bradley, P.M., Morris, J.T. 1992 Effect of salinity on the critical nitrogen concentration of Spartina-alterniflora Loisel Aquat. Bot. 43 149 161 CrossRef Google Scholar
Brady N.C. and Weil R.R. 1996. The nature and properties of soils. 11th edition. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Google Scholar Burdick, D.M., Mendelssohn, I.A., McKee, K.W. 1989 Live standing crop and metabolism of the marsh grass Spartina Patnes as related to edaphic factors in a brackishmixed marsh community in houisana Estuaries 12 195 204 CrossRef Google Scholar Callaway, J.C. 2001 Hydrology and substrate Zedler, J.B. eds. Handbook for Restoring Tidal Wetlands CRC Press Boca Raton, Florida, USA 89 112 Google Scholar Callaway, J.C., Sullivan, G.S., Zedler, J.B. 2003 Species richness and wetland function Ecol. Appl. 13 1626 1639 Google Scholar Covin, J.D., Zedler, J.B. 1988 Nitrogen effects on Spartina foliosa and Salicornia virginica in the salt marsh at Tijuana Estuary, California Wetlands 8 51 65 CrossRef Google Scholar Crooks, S., Schutten, J., Sheern, G.D., Pye, K., Davy, A.J. 2002 Drainage and Elevation as Factors in the Restoration of Salt Marsh in Britain Restor. Ecol. 10 591 602 CrossRef Google Scholar Craft, C., Reader, J., Sacco, J.N., Broome, S.W. 1999 Twenty-five years of ecosystem development of constructed Spartina alterniflora (Loisel) marshes Ecol. Appl. 9 1405 1419 Google Scholar Entrix, Pacific Estuarine Research Laboratory, and Philip Williams & Associates Ltd. 1991Tijuana Estuary Tidal Restoration Program. Vol. I–III Draft Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement California Coastal Conservancy Oakland, CA, USA Google Scholar Eertman, R.H., Kornman, B.A., Stikvoort, E., Verbeek, H. 2002 Restoration of the Sieperda Tidal Marsh in the Scheldt Estuary Netherlands 10 438 449 Google Scholar Fogel, B.N., Crain, C.M., Bertness, M.D. 2004 Community level engineering effects of Triglochlin maritima (seaside arrowgrass) in a salt marsh in northern New EnglandUSA J. Ecol. 92 589 597 CrossRef Google Scholar Haltiner, J., Zedler, J.B., Boyer, K.E., Williams, G.D., Callaway, J.C. 1997 Influence of physical processes on the design, functioning and evolution of restored tidal wetlands Wetlands Ecol. Manage. 4 73 91 CrossRef Google Scholar Handa, I.T., Jefferies, R.L. 2000 Assisted revegetation trials in degraded salt-marshes J. Appl. Ecol. 37 944 958 CrossRef Google Scholar Keer, G., Zedler, J.B. 2002 Salt marsh canopy architecture differs with species richness and species identity Ecol. Appl. 12 456 473 Google Scholar Kolasa, J., Pickett, S. 1991Ecological Heterogeneity. Ecological Studies Springer-Verlag New York, NY, USA Google Scholar Langis, R.M., Zalejko, M., Zedler, J.B. 1991 Nitrogen assessments in a constructed and a natural salt marsh of San Diego Bay (California, USA) Ecol. Appl. 1 40 51 Google Scholar Lindig-Cisneros, R., Zedler, J.B. 2002 Halophyte recruitment in a salt marsh restoration site Estuaries 25 1174 1183 CrossRef Google Scholar MacMahon, J.A. 1997 Ecological Restoration Meffe, G.K. Carrol, C.R. eds. Principles of Conservation Biology Sinauer Associates, Inc Sunderland, Massachusetts, USA 479 511 Google Scholar Mendelssohn, I., Kuhn, N.L. 2003 Sediment subsidy: effects on soil-plant responses in a rapidly submerging coastal marsh Ecol. Eng. 21 115 128 CrossRef Google Scholar Mitsch, W.J., Wilson, R.F. 1996 Improving the success of wetland creation and restoration with know-how, time and self-design Ecol. Appl. 6 77 83 Google Scholar Morzaria-Luna, H., Callaway, J.C., Sullivan, G., Zedler, J.B. 2004 Topographic heterogeneity effects on community patterns in a Californian salt-marsh J. Veg. Sci. 15 523 530 Google Scholar NRC 1996Wetland Characteristics and Boundaries National Academy Press Washington, DC, USA Google Scholar O’Brien, E.O. 2003Starting from scratch: a three factor approach to accelerate vegetation development at a southern California salt marsh restoration site University of Wisconsin-Madison. Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Madison, Wisconsin, USA Google Scholar Palmer, M.A., Poff, N.L. 1997 The influence of environmental heterogeneity on patterns and processes in streams J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 16 169 173 CrossRef Google Scholar Sheridan, P., McMahan, G., Hammerstrom, K., Pulich, W. 1998 Factors affecting restoration of Halodule wrightii to Galveston bay, Texas Restor. Ecol. 6 144 158 CrossRef Google Scholar Sullivan, G., Noe, G.B. 2001 Coastal wetland plant species of southern California Zedler, J.B. eds. Handbook for Restoring Tidal Wetlands CRC Press Boca Raton, Florida, USA 369 394 Google Scholar Trnka, S., Zedler, J.B. 2000 Site conditions, not parental phenotypedetermine the height of Spartina foliosa Estuaries 24 572 582 CrossRef Google Scholar Vivian-Smith, G. 1997 Microtopographic heterogeneity and floristic diversity in experimental wetland communities J. Ecol. 85 71 82 Google Scholar Vivian-Smith, G. 2001 Developing a framework for restoration Zedler, J.B. eds. Handbook for Restoring Tidal Wetlands CRC Press Boca Raton, Florida, USA 39 88 Google Scholar Weinstein, M.P., Philipp, K.R., Goodwin, P. 2000 Catastrophes, near-catastrophes and the bounds of expectations: Success criteria for macroscale marsh restoration Weinstein, M.P. Kreeger, D. eds. Concepts and Controversies in Tidal Marsh Ecology Kluwer Academic Publishers Dordrecht, The Netherlands 777 804 Google Scholar Whisenant, S.G. 2002 Terrestrial systems Perrow, M.R. Davy, A.J. eds. Handbook of Ecological Restoration, Vol. 1: Principles of Restoration Cambridge University Press Cambridge, UK 83 105 Google Scholar Worm, B., Reusch, T.B.H. 2000 Do nutrient availability and plant density limit seagrass colonization in the Baltic Sea? Mar. Ecol.-Prog. Ser. 200 159 166 Google Scholar Zedler, J.B., Callaway, J.C., Desmond, J.S., Vivian-Smith, G., Williams, G.D., Sullivan, G., Brewster, A.E., Bradshaw, B.K. 1999 Californian salt-marsh vegetation: an improved model of spatial pattern Ecosystems 2 19 35 CrossRef Google Scholar Zedler, J.B., Callaway, J.C., Sullivan, G. 2001 Declining biodiversity: why species matter and how their functions might be restored in Californian tidal marshes Bioscience 51 1005 1017 Google Scholar Zedler, J.B. eds. 2001Handbook for Restoring Tidal Wetlands CRC Press Boca Raton, Florida, USA Google Scholar Zedler, J.B., Morzaria-Luna, H., Ward, K. 2003 The challenge of restoring vegetation on tidal, hypersaline substrates Plant Soil 253 259 273 CrossRef Google Scholar