Environmental Management

, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 861–876 | Cite as

Relationship Between Woody Plant Colonization and Typha L. Encroachment in Stormwater Detention Basins

  • Priscilla Bocskor Plumb
  • Susan D. Day
  • Theresa M. Wynn-Thompson
  • John R. Seiler


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.


Cattails Forest succession Invasive species Litter Soil organic matter Urban forest canopy 


  1. Allison RA, Chiew FHS, McMahon TA (1998) Nutrient contribution of leaf litter in urban stormwater. J Environ Manag 54(4):269–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asaeda T, Hai DN, Manatunge J, Williams D, Roberts J (2005) Latitudinal characteristics of below- and above-ground biomass of Typha: a modelling approach. Ann Bot 96(2):299–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Backstrom M, Malmqvist PA, Viklander M (2002) Stormwater management in a catchbasin perspective: best practices or sustainable strategies? Water Sci Technol 46(6–7):159–166Google Scholar
  4. Ballantine K, Schneider R (2009) Fifty-five years of soil development in restored freshwater depressional wetlands. Ecol Appl 19(6):1467–1480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bartens J, Day SD, Harris JR, Dove JE, Wynn TM (2008) Can urban tree roots improve infiltration through compacted subsoils for stormwater management? J Environ Qual 37(6):2048–2057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boyd CE, Hess LW (1970) Factors influencing shoot production and mineral nutrient levels in Typha latifolia. Ecology 51(2):296–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Corcoran MK, Gray DH, Biedenharn DS, Little CD, Leech JR, Pinkard F, Bailey P, Lee LT (2010) Literature review: vegetation on levees, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Washington DC. Water Resources Infrastructure. ERDC SR-10-2Google Scholar
  8. Dulohery CJ, Kolka RK, McKevlin MR (2000) Effects of a willow overstory on planted seedlings in a bottomland restoration. Ecol Eng 15:S57–S66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Emerson CH, Traver RG (2008) Multiyear and seasonal variation of infiltration from storm-water best management practices. J Irrig Drain Eng 134(5):598–605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Farrer EC, Goldberg DE (2009) Litter drives ecosystem and plant community changes in cattail invasion. Ecol Appl 19(2):398–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Galatowitsch S, Anderson N, Ascher P (1999) Invasiveness in wetland plants in temperate North America. Wetlands 19(4):733–755CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grace JB (1989) Effects of water depth on Typha latifolia and Typha domingensis. Am J Bot 76(5):762–768CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Grace JB, Wetzel RG (1981) Habitat partitioning and competitive displacement in cattails (Typha): experimental field studies. Am Nat 118(4):463–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Grace JB, Wetzel RG (1982) Niche differentiation between two rhizomatous plant species: Typha latifolia and Typha angustifolia. Can J Bot 60(1):46–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Groninger JW, Seiler JR, Peterson JA, Kreh RE (1996) Growth and photosynthetic responses for four Virginia Piedmont tree species to shade. Tree Physiol 16:773–778CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Havens KJ, Priest IIIWI, Berquist H (1997) Investigation and long-term monitoring of Phragmites australis within Virginia’s constructed wetland sites. Environ Manag 21(4):599–605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hogan DM, Walbridge MR (2007) Best management practices for nutrient and sediment retention in urban stormwater runoff. J Environ Qual 36(2):386–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hogan D, Jordan T, Walbridge M (2004) Phosphorus retention and soil organic carbon in restored and natural freshwater wetlands. Wetlands 24(3):573–585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hunt WF, Apperson CS, Kennedy SG, Harrison BA, Lord WG (2006) Occurrence and relative abundance of mosquitoes in stormwater retention facilities in North Carolina, USA. Water Sci Technol 54(6–7):315–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jackson DA (1993) Stopping rules in principal components-analysis: a comparison of heuristic and statistical approaches. Ecology 74(8):2204–2214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jiannino JA, Walton WE (2004) Evaluation of vegetation management strategies for controlling mosquitoes in a southern California constructed wetland. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 20(1):18–26Google Scholar
  22. Johnson MS, Lehmann J (2006) Double-funneling of trees: stemflow and root-induced preferential flow. Ecoscience 13(3):324–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kramer PJ, Boyer JS (1995) Water relations of plants and soils. Academic Press, Inc., San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  24. Lechowicz MJ (1995) Seasonality of flowering and fruiting in temperate forest trees. Can J Bot 73(2):175–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Li SW, Pezeshki SR, Goodwin S (2004) Effects of soil moisture regimes on photosynthesis and growth in cattail (Typha latifolia). Acta Oecol 25(1–2):17–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Li MH, Barrett ME, Rammohan P, Olivera F, Landphair HC (2008) Documenting stormwater quality on Texas highways and adjacent vegetated roadsides. J Environ Eng ASCE 134(1):48–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Li H, Sharkey LJ, Hunt WF, Davis AP (2009) Mitigation of impervious surface hydrology using bioretention in North Carolina and Maryland. J Hydrol Eng 14(4):407–415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Marsalek J, Chocat B (2002) International report: stormwater management. Water Sci Technol 46(6–7):1–17Google Scholar
  29. Maxwell K, Johnson GN (2000) Chlorophyll fluorescence: a practical guide. J Exp Bot 51(345):659–668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mazer G, Booth D, Ewing K (2001) Limitations to vegetation establishment and growth in biofiltration swales. Ecol Eng 17(4):429–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. McLeod KW, Reed MR, Nelson EA (2001) Influence of a willow canopy on tree seedling establishment for wetland restoration. Wetlands 21(3):395–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. McNaughton SJ (1966) Ecotype function in the Typha community-type. Ecol Monogr 36(4):298–325Google Scholar
  33. McPherson G, Simpson JR, Peper PJ, Maco SE, Xiao QF (2005) Municipal forest benefits and costs in five US cities. J For 103(8):411–416Google Scholar
  34. Morin X, Lechowicz MJ, Augspurger C, O’Keefe J, Viner D, Chuine I (2009) Leaf phenology in 22 North American tree species during the 21st century. Glob Change Biol 15(4):961–975CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Muthukrishnan S, Selvakumar A (2006) Evaluation of retention pond and constructed wetland BMPs for treating particulate-bound heavy metals in urban stormwater runoff. In: World environmental and water resources congress 2006, ASCE, pp 1–11Google Scholar
  36. Pelletier B, Fyles JW, Dutilleul P (1999) Tree species control and spatial structure of forest floor properties in a mixed-species stand. Ecoscience 6(1):79–91Google Scholar
  37. Pouliot R, Rochefort L, Karofeld E (2011) Initiation of microtopography in revegetated cutover peatlands. Appl Veg Sci 14:158–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shammaa Y, Zhu DZ, Gyurek LL, Labatiuk CW (2002) Effectiveness of dry ponds for stormwater total suspended solids removal. Can J Civ Eng 29(2):316–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Shields FD, Gray DH (1992) Effects of woody vegetation on sandy levee integrity. Water Resour Bull 28(5):917–931CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Starzec P, Lind BOB, Lanngren A, Lindgren A, Svenson T (2005) Technical and environmental functioning of detention ponds for the treatment of highway and road runoff. Water Air Soil Pollut 163(1–4):153–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sun G, Riekerk H, Kornhak LV (2000) Ground-water-table rise after forest harvesting on cypress-pine flatwoods in Florida. Wetlands 20(1):101–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Taebi A, Droste RL (2004) First flush pollution load of urban stormwater runoff. J Environ Eng Sci 3(4):301–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Toth LA, Galloway JP (2009) Clonal expansion of cattail (Typha domingensis) in Everglades stormwater treatment areas: implications for alternative management strategies. J Aquat Plant Manag 47:151–155Google Scholar
  44. United States Army Corps Engineers (2000) Engineering and design guidelines for landscape planting and vegetation management at floodwalls, levees, and embankment dams. Washington, DC. EM 1110-2-301Google Scholar
  45. USDA Forest Service Southern Region (1986) Service foresters handbook. Atlanta, GA. R8-MR 11Google Scholar
  46. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (1999) Virginia stormwater management handbook. Richmond, VAGoogle Scholar
  47. Weihe PE, Neely RK (1997) The effects of shading on competition between purple loosestrife and broad-leaved cattail. Aquat Bot 59(1–2):127–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Weiss JD, Hondzo M, Semmens M (2006) Storm water detention ponds: modeling heavy metal removal by plant species and sediments. J Environ Eng ASCE 132(9):1034–1042CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Xu Y-J, Burger JA, Michael Aust W, Patterson SC, Miwa M, Preston DP (2002) Changes in surface water table depth and soil physical properties after harvest and establishment of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) in Atlantic coastal plain wetlands of South Carolina. Soil Tillage Res 63(3–4):109–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Priscilla Bocskor Plumb
    • 1
  • Susan D. Day
    • 1
  • Theresa M. Wynn-Thompson
    • 2
  • John R. Seiler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forest Resources & Environmental ConservationVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological Systems EngineeringVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

Personalised recommendations