Wet prairie restoration methods affect species richness and transplant survival
Urbanization and modification of landscapes has led to a decrease in native wet prairies and caused a decline in species richness due to competitive, invasive plant monotypes. We investigated site preparation and planting diversity treatments on species richness and transplant survival in a small degraded wetland in Menomonie, Wisconsin. We used three site preparations: glyphosate, sod removal, and a control; and two planting diversities: high diversity (14 spp.) and low diversity (3 spp.). Our hypotheses were that native species richness would be highest in high diversity plots with sod removal and that transplant survival would be highest in high diversity, glyphosate plots. Overall species richness was significantly higher in sod removal plots, although with many non-native species. Transplant survival was lower in glyphosate compared to sod removal plots, although this difference was not significant. There was also no significant difference in survival rates between high and low diversity plantings. Our research suggests that sod removal is more effective than glyphosate in fostering native species richness and transplant survival. It may have promoted non-native species richness however. This short-term experiment displays promising solutions for restoring wet prairies, but further research needs to be performed focusing on long-term management.
Wet prairie restoration