|Shields Jr, Fletcher|
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Willow posts have proven to be a successful tool to control bank erosion and rehabilitate degraded riparian zone plant communities. However, low survival rates have been reported in certain areas. Soil moisture regime has been considered as the potential primary factor. While soil moisture deficit could become detrimental to plants, excess moisture and the resultant low soil redox potential (Eh) conditions can lead to poor plant growth. Accordingly, we designed and conducted field studies to focus on the relationship between soil conditions and survival and growth of willow posts. Field studies were conducted on black willow (Salix nigra) posts planted along Harland Creek (HC) and Twentymile Creek (TC) in Mississippi. Results from the HC site indicated that optimum conditions for posts were provided at moderate elevations characterized by groundwater levels that fluctuated around 50 to 60 cm beneath the soil surface, allowing adequate soil moisture and frequent drainage. In contrast, posts located at higher elevations relative to the baseflow suffered from soil moisture deficits while posts located at the bank toe were hampered by low Eh conditions. Data from TC also indicated a close relationship between soil conditions and survival. Posts grown in silty-clay soils displayed low survival, decreased height growth, smaller leaf size and lower leaf tissue chlorophyll content in comparison to those grown in sandy soils. Soil texture and moisture regime are key factors affecting survival and growth of willow posts at both restoration sites.