Date of Award:

12-2019

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Ecology

Committee

Karin M. Kettenring

Committee

Eugene W. Schupp

Committee

Larry Rupp

Abstract

A major goal in restoration is to reestablish native plant communities. There are several ways to reestablish species, but for large areas the most logistically feasible approach is to sow seed of desirable species. However, most wetland seeds are buoyant and are extremely difficult to establish in designated areas before floating away. In upland areas, tackifiers have been used to stabilize hill slopes from erosion and to keep seeds in place. The tackifier works as an adhesive that binds the seeds to the soil. However, the use of a tackifier has not been widely employed in wetland restorations, and prior to its broad implementation into wetland restoration practice, it is important to determine if tackifiers will hold up in wetland conditions. In greenhouse studies, we tested the effectiveness of different tackifier types and concentrations on Bolboschoenus maritimus seedling emergence, the influence of soil moisture and flooding on the duration of tackifier effectiveness, the effect of a mulch addition on tackifier effectiveness (Bolboschoenus maritimus, Schoenoplectus acutus and S. americanus), the effectiveness of pre-germination in enhancing Bolboschoenus maritimus seedling emergence using a tackifier, and the effectiveness of tackifier over time. We concluded that the use of a tackifier was effective at keeping seeds from washing away for at least 15 days, a mulch addition did not enhance tackifier effectiveness, and pre-germination did not benefit B. maritimus seedling emergence. The results from this study provide strong evidence that the use of a tackifier could be an effective solution to establish bulrush species in designated areas in wetland restorations.

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