Counting Plants

31
Jul
2012

Monitoring at Cosumnes Floodplain Mitigation Bank

During the winter of 2010/2011 Westervelt Ecological Services planted over 9,000 plants at our Cosumnes Floodplain Mitigation Bank.  Tidal channel banks were planted with pole cuttings of willows (Salix lasiolepis, S. laevigata, S. lasiandra), Fremont cottonwood, Buttonwillow, and Oregon ash to accelerate near water cover.  Floodplain Riparian Habitat was planted in clusters with a mix of riparian trees, shrubs, vines, forbs and grasses that tolerate periodic flooding.  The planting was to help accelerate revegetation of the site and to provide early habitat for local wildlife.

Two years later our ecology team just finished the second year of monitoring the site and evaluating the success of the plantings.  Using a complete count method (i.e., counting all surviving planted material by species), it took a crew of two, five days to complete.

Success is based on percentage survival of tree and shrub plantings in monitoring years one and two. Data on vigor of surviving plants was also collected by planting zone to assist in troubleshooting plantings if necessary.  If the success criterion is met this year, or if flood events have rendered planted material impossible to discern from other naturally recruited vegetation, year three monitoring will be conducted by sampling shrub stem density within 0.04 ha plots.  Stay tuned for the results!

DSCN1724

Picture above is of planting in Floodplain Riparian Habitat area.  Flags indicate a location where a container plant was planted in 2010/2011.  Other greenery is natural recruitment of Freemont cottonwood.
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Picture above is of Tidal channel with natural recruitment.