Relationship Between Woody Plant Colonization and Typha L. Encroachment in Stormwater Detention Basins
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- Plumb, P.B., Day, S.D., Wynn-Thompson, T.M. et al. Environmental Management (2013) 52: 861. doi:10.1007/s00267-013-0137-2
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We studied stormwater detention basins where woody vegetation removal was suspended for 2 years in Virginia, USA to determine if woody vegetation can control Typha populations and how early woody plant succession interacts with Typha, other herbaceous vegetation, and site factors. Distribution and composition of woody vegetation, Typha and non-Typha herbaceous vegetation biomass, and site factors were assessed at 100 plots in four basins ranging in age from 7 to 17 years. A greenhouse study examined the interaction of shade and soil moisture on Typha biomass and persistence. Principal component analysis identified an environmental gradient associated with greater water table depths and decreased elevation that favored Typha but negatively influenced woody vegetation. Elevation was correlated with litter layer distribution, suggesting that initial topography influences subsequent environmental characteristics and thus plant communities. Soil organic matter at 0–10 cm ranged from 5.4 to 12.7 %. Woody plants present were native species with the exception of Ailanthus altissima and Pyrus calleryana. In the greenhouse, shade and reduced soil moisture decreased Typha biomass and rhizome length. The shade effect was strongest in flooded plants and the soil moisture effect was strongest for plants in full sun. Typha in dry soil and heavy shade had 95 % less total biomass and 83 % smaller rhizomes than Typha in flooded soil and full sun, but even moderate soil moisture reductions decreased above- and below-ground biomass by 63 and 56 %, respectively. Suspending maintenance allows restoration of woody vegetation dominated by native species and may suppress Typha invasion.