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Tuesday, February 7 • 2:40pm - 3:00pm
Symposia Session - S5: Playa Wetland Ecology. Best Management Practices for Rainwater Basin Wetlands

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AUTHORS: Dana Varner, Science Coordinator, Rainwater Basin Joint Venture 

ABSTRACT: For playa wetland habitats in the Rainwater Basin (RWB) region, moist-soil dominated plant communities are ideal because of the large amount of seeds they produce, which are a high-quality waterfowl food.  Bare soil, including mudflat and shallow open water areas, also is desired as it is an early successional state that typically develops into a productive moist-soil community.  Late successional plant communities that are dominated by cattail, river bulrush, or reed canarygrass provide fewer seeds for waterfowl or may even preclude wetland use.  Monitoring data collected on public lands in the RWB from 2009-2013 were used to learn more about the effects of several wetland management treatments on vegetation communities. We found that grazing, herbicide spraying, prescribed fire, and disking were more effective than resting in many situations.  Management treatments were more effective at promoting moist-soil vegetation when applied in multiple, consecutive years. Treatments led to a higher percentage of points in a desirable community if applied when invasive plant communities were at a lower density (i.e., 26% - 50%) and not yet dominant (i.e., >75%).  Long-term planning and implementation can greatly improve the effectiveness of vegetation management, as within-year and across-year treatment interactions have clear effects on outcomes.  

Tuesday February 7, 2017 2:40pm - 3:00pm
Yankee Hill I/II

Attendees (4)