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Abstract Detail


Conservation Biology

Deprenger-Levin, Michelle [1], Murdock, Ariella [2], Sher, Anna [1].

Active revegetation in tamarisk invaded riparian corridors of the Upper Colorado River Basin.

The Colorado River and its tributaries make up one of the most regulated river systems in the world. Damming has allowed for population growth and development, agricultural practices in an otherwise arid region, and a method of power generation. However, damming has also been blamed for the onslaught of devastating weeds such as tamarisk, Russian olive, and Siberian elm. Once the pattern of water flow is disrupted, water tables may plummet, soil salinity can spike and native plant communities decline. Though there is great debate over whether the arrival of woody invasives are the result of altered stream flows or the cause of native vegetation decline, most agree that removal of these woody invasives is not enough to bring back a stable vegetation community. Denver Botanic Gardens is developing a best management practices manual for revegetation of previously invaded riparian habitats. The manual is based on expertise of the few land managers who have conducted active riparian revegetation after the removal of woody invasives in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) and countless studies and projects in the greater southwest region. The UCRB holds unique challenges for active revegetation. Removing tamarisk increases the risk of secondary, herbaceous invaders, streams in the UCRB are often channelized with deep water tables, and land managers often do not have control over the leading causes of native vegetation decline. Because of changes in flow, riparian areas cannot be restored to historic communities. Land mangers are using a combination of seeding, planting, and irrigating to establish natives. Some are converting previously infested areas to wetlands, or in many cases relying on natural recruitment. The manual will attempt to direct when natural recruitment is an option, when active revegetation is necessary and what techniques will lead to the greatest success to restore these degraded areas.


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1 - Denver Botanic Gardens, Research, 909 York Street, Denver, CO, 80206, USA
2 - Denver Botanic Gardens, Research, 909 York Street, Denver, CO, 80206

Keywords:
Tamarix ssp.
riparian restoration
active revegetation
best management practices
Elaeagnus angustifolia L.
Ulmus pumila L..

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: CP02
Location: PDR 4/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 8:45 AM
Number: CP02004
Abstract ID:1504


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