Submitted to: Annual Conference on Ecosystems Restoration and Creation
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 2, 2006
Publication Date: May 14, 2008
Citation: Sigua, G.C., Hudnall, W.H. and Prudente, J. 2008. Gypsum-water management interactions on the survival, yield, and protein content of selected species of marsh vegetation. In Vyapari, S., editor. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference on Ecosystem Restoration and Creation, Institute of Florida Studies, Hillsborough Community College, Plant City, Florida. p. 80-90.
A field study evaluating the effects of gypsum and water management on the survival, yield, and protein content of selected species of marsh vegetation was conducted on an open area inundated by brackish water near Hackberry, LA. The overall growth and yield responses of four species of marsh vegetation: joint grass (Paspalum vaginatum, SW.); marsh hay cordgrass (Spartina patens MuhL.); saltgrass (Distichlis spicata L.); and American three-square (Scirpus americanus Pers.) to gypsum addition (0 vs. 7 Mg ha-1) and water management (flooded vs. non-flooded) were statistically evaluated. There was a zero plant survival in the non-flooded plots except for the marsh hay cordgrass with an average survival rate of 32.8%. Plots receiving 7 Mg ha-1 gypsum had significantly higher dry matter production than the control. Gypsum application increased dry matter yield (Mg ha-1) of joint grass (5.4 to 8.8), marsh hay cordgrass (1.9 to 6.9), salt grass (0.9 to 2.8) and American three-square (1.6 to 2.8) in flooded soils. The yield of marsh hay cordgrass, the only surviving species in the non-flooded plots, produced a yield increase of 0.4 mg ha-1 in response to gypsum. Higher survival rates were observed in the flooded plots treated with gypsum than in the non-flooded plots receiving no gypsum application. The mean survival rate for the gypsum-treated plots was 68.2%, as opposed to 21.9% for the untreated plots. Results reaffirmed the importance of gypsum addition and the proper soil moisture regime for the restoration of suitable marsh vegetation.