Kampoosa Bog in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, USA is a 70-ha wetland comprised of calcareous basin fen and red maple swamp bordered, in part, by roads including the Massachusetts Turnpike. High salt concentrations in the ground water (due to the application of deicing salts on the Turnpike) and Phragmites australis colonies appear to be impacting the native vegetation at this site. Sodium and chloride concentrations at Kampoosa Bog are generally below previously published threshold levels for impacting vegetation, although such levels vary by species and in relation to other environmental stress conditions. Giant reed (Phragmites), a salt-tolerant invasive species, invaded the northern portion of the wetland adjacent to the Turnpike and a gas pipeline sometime after they were built in the 1950s. By 1998, Phragmites had formed dense colonies that continued to spread across the wetland, which supports several state-listed rare plant and animal species. High salt concentrations (Na+ > 112 mg/L, Cl >54 mg/L) are present up to 300 meters from the Turnpike. Phragmites colonies occur in areas with high and low salt concentrations, and the species abundance is not well-correlated with elevated salt levels. Although high salt concentrations and Phragmites abundance do not seem to produce an interaction effect on the vegetation of the wetland, the graminoid fen community is impacted by both factors separately. We attribute decreases in the abundance of species between invaded and non-invaded areas to the presence of Phragmites. In the graminoid fen, we attribute decreases in both community measures (richness, evenness, and overall cover) and individual species abundances to high salt concentrations.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Balliett, J. F. 1996. Kampoosa Bog surface water quality background report. Report to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Program. Boston, MA, USA.
Bart, D. and J. M. Hartman. 2000. Environmental determinants of Phragmites australis expansion in a New Jersey salt marsh: an experimental approach. Oikos 89:59–69.
Caljouw, C. 1984. Kampoosa Bog: A stewardship plan. Some recommendations for management to the Conservation Commission, Town of Stockbridge. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA, USA.
Chambers, R. M., L. A. Meyerson, and K. Saltonstall. 1999. Expansion of Phragmites australis into tidal wetlands of North America Aquatic Botany 64:261–273.
Earth Tech, Inc. 1997. Sodium chloride levels in Kampoosa Bog—an Area of Critical Environmental Concern, Kampoosa Bog, Stockbridge and Lee, Massachusetts. Report for the Massachusetts Tumpike Authority, Boston, MA, USA.
Forman, R. T. T. and L. E. Alexander. 1998. Roads and their major ecological effects. Annual Review of Ecology and System 29: 207–231.
Gleason, H. A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, second edition. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY, USA.
Hach Company. 1997. DR 2010 Spectrophotometer Procedures Manual. Hach Company, Loveland, CO, USA.
Hall, R., G. Hofstra, and G. P. Lumis. 1972. Effects of deicing salt on eastern white pine: foliar injury, growth suppression, and seasonal changes in foliar concentrations of sodium chloride. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 2:244–249.
Hofstra, G. and R. Hall. 1971. Injury on roadside trees: leaf injury on pine and white cedar in relation to foliar levels of sodium and chloride. Canadian Journal of Botany 49:613–622.
Hutchinson, F. E. (1970). Environmental pollution from highway deicing compounds. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 25:144–146.
Hutchinson, F. E. and B. E. Olson. 1967. The relationship of road salt applications to sodium and chloride ion levels in the soil bordering major highways. Highway Research Record 193:1–7.
Isabelle, P. S., L. J. Fooks, and P. A. Keddy. 1987. Effects of roadside snowmelt on wetland vegetation: an experimental study. Journal of Environmental Managemet 25:57–60.
Lapin, B. and J. Randall. 1993. Element stewardship abstract for Phragmites australis, common reed. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA, USA.
Liem, A. S. N., A. Hendriks, H. Kraal, and M. Loenen. 1985. Effects of de-icing salt on roadside grasses and herbs. Plant and Soil 84: 299–310
Lumis, G. P., G. Hofstra, and R. Hall. 1976. Roadside woody plant susceptibility to sodium and chloride accumulation during winter and spring. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 56:853–859.
Marks, M., B. Lapin, and J. Randall. 1994. Phragmites australis (P. communis): threats, management, and monitoring. Natural Areas Journal 14:285–294.
Mattson, M. D., P. J. Godfrey, M. F. Walk, P. A. Kerr, and O. T. Zajicek. 1992. Regional chemistry of lakes in Massachusetts. Water Resources Bulletin 28:1045–1056.
McCune, B. and M. J. Mefford. 1999. PC-ORD. Multivariate Analysis of Ecological Data, Version 4. MjM Software Design, Glenenden Beach, OR, USA.
Meyerson, L. A., K. Saltonstall, L. Windham, E. Kiviat, and S. Findlay. 2000. A comparison of Phragmites australis in freshwater and brackish marsh environments in North America. Wetland Ecology and Management 8:89–103.
Mueller-Dombois, D. and H. Ellenberg. 1974. Aims and Methods of Vegetation Ecology. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY, USA.
Panno, S. V., V. A. Nuzzo, K. Cartwright, B. R. Hensel, and I. G. Krapac. 1999. Impact of urban development on the chemical composition of ground water in a fen-wetland complex. Wetlands 19: 236–245.
Prior, G. A. and P. M. Berthouex. 1967. A study of salt pollution of soil by highway salting. Highway Research Record 193:8–21.
Pugh, A. L. IV, S. A. Norton, M. Schauffler, G. L. Jacobson Jr., J. S. Kahl, W. F. Brutsaert, and C. F. Mason. 1996. Interactions between peat and salt-contaminated runoff in Alton Bog, Maine, USA. Journal of Hydrology 182:83–104.
Rawinski, T. 1983. Natural community survey form: Southern New England calcareous basin fen—Kampoosa Bog. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Heritage Task Force, Boston, MA, USA. Unpublished report #F83RAW01.
Richburg, J. A. 1999. Water chemistry, Phragmites invasion, and changing plant communities at Kampoosa Bog, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. M.S. Thesis. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA.
Roberts, E. C. and E. L. Zybura. 1967. Effect of sodium chloride on grasses for roadside use. Highway Research Record 193:35–42.
Roman, C. T., W. A. Niering, and R. S. Warren. 1984. Salt marsh vegetation change in response to tidal restriction. Environmental Management 8:141–150.
Schauffler, M., G. L. Jacobson, Jr., A. L. Pugh IV, and S. A. Norton. 1996. Influence of vegetational structure on capture of salt and nutrient aerosols in a Maine peatland. Ecological Applications 6: 263–268.
Schraufnagel, F. H. 1967. Pollution aspects associated with chemical deicing. Highway Research Record 193:22–33.
Simini, M. and I. A. Leone. 1986. Studies on the effects of de-icing salts on roadside tress. Arboricultural Journal 10:221–231.
Transportation Research Board. 1991. Highway deicing: comparing salt and calcium magnesium acetate. Transportation Research Board, The National Academies. Washington, DC, USA. Special Report No. 235.
USGS, Office of Water Data Coordination. 1983. National handbook of recommended methods for water-data acquisition, U.S Department of the Interior, Reston, VA, USA.
Weatherbee, P. 1994. A nomination for an Area of Critical Environmental Concern: Kampoosa Bog drainage basin. Stockbridge Land Trust, Stockbridge, MA, USA.
Wilcox, D. A. 1984. The effects of NaCl deicing salts on Sphagnum recurvum P. Beauv. Environmental and Experimental Botany 24: 295–304.
Wilcox, D. A. 1986a. The effects of deicing salts on water chemistry in Pinhook Bog, Indiana. Water Resources Bulletin 22:27–65.
Wilcox, D. A. 1986b. The effects of deicing salts on vegetation in Pinhook Bog, Indiana. Canadian Journal of Botany 64:865–874.
Wilcox, D. A. 1989. Migration and control of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria L.) along highway corridors. Environmental Management 13:365–370.
Wilcox, D. A. and R. E. Andrus. 1987. The role of Sphagnum fimbriatum in secondary succession in a road salt impacted bog. Canadian Journal of Botany 65:2270–2275.
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Richburg, J.A., Patterson, W.A. & Lowenstein, F. Effects of road salt and Phragmites australis invasion on the vegetation of a Western Massachusetts calcareous lake-basin fen. Wetlands 21, 247–255 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1672/0277-5212(2001)021[0247:EORSAP]2.0.CO;2
- Phragmites australis
- deicing salt
- water chemistry