Cirtain, Margaret , Franklin, Scott .
The Arundinaria gigantea canebrake ecosystem: Can it be restored?
The once dominant Arundinaria gigantea (Walt.) Muhl. canebrake ecosystem has been reduced to fragmented populations, trapped between increasing agricultural and urban development and encroaching closed canopy forests. This decline in the A. gigantea population has resulted in a critically endangered ecosystem with a greater than 98% loss, impacting many species and making reestablishment of canebrakes necessary for maintaining and enhancing biodiversity in the southeastern United States. The goal of this research has been to examine feasible propagation methods for large scale restoration projects, and to focus on critical environmental parameters for canebrake establishment and expansion. Propagation methods tested were transplantation, macropropagation, and micropropagation. Of these, micropropagation offers the greatest potential for large scale projects. Transplantation has proven too labor intensive and unrealistic for a source of large numbers of plants. Macropropagation may prove successful as a means of cane propagation, but in fewer numbers than micropropagation. Once plants are available for projects, environmental conditions must be determined for successful establishment. Factors considered critical for cane establishment were competition, light, moisture and nutrients and tested in greenhouse and field experiments. Competition was tested at two sites and results indicated competition is not a critical factor for cane establishment. Light levels were compared in a greenhouse study and in a field experiment. Both studies indicate cane growth increases under full light conditions. Moisture effect was examined in a greenhouse study with three levels, with cane growth greatest under moist, well-drained conditions. Levels of nutrients have been tested in both field and greenhouse and indicate cane growth increases with fertilization. It is anticipated that these results with contribute to an area of research that has to date received little attention, even though the A. gigantea canebrake ecosystem is classified as endangered, and contribute toward management practices which may aid in its restoration.
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1 - University of Memphis, Biology, Ellington Hall, 3700 Walker Ave., Memphis, TN, 38152, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Williford B/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
Time: 3:45 PM