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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » National Sedimentation Laboratory » Water Quality and Ecology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #128898

Title: INCREASING STREAMBANK RESTORATION SUCCESS: RESULTS FROM STUDIES WITH BLACK WILLOW (SALIX NIGRA) POSTS

Author
item SCHAFF, S
item PEZESHKI, S
item Shields Jr, Fletcher

Submitted to: Society for Ecological Restoration Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2001
Publication Date: 10/4/2001
Citation: SCHAFF, S.D., PEZESHKI, S.R., SHIELDS JR, F.D. INCREASING STREAMBANK RESTORATION SUCCESS: RESULTS FROM STUDIES WITH BLACK WILLOW (SALIX NIGRA) POSTS. SOCIETY FOR ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION ABSTRACTS. 2001. p. 67.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Bioengineering practices often involve planting black willow (Salix nigra) for riparian erosion control and habitat rehabilitation. However, success has been limited by poor survival. A two-year field study was conducted at Twentymile Creek, in northern Mississippi, investigating edaphic factors limiting the survival of willow cuttings. Growth, biomass production, and physiological function (e.g. net photosynthesis and leaf chlorophyll content) were all significantly reduced in willow cuttings subjected to soil moisture deficits. However, soil texture emerged as the dominant factor determining willow post growth, health and survival. Coarse-grained soil (sands), even when subjected to reductions in soil moisture, were more conducive to post growth and survival than were fine-grained soils (silt/clay). Pre-planting soaking of cuttings in water was investigated as a method for enhancing willow cutting performance. In nature, willow stems are often soaked during flood events that disperse propagules. Greenhouse studies were conducted to determine if pre-planting soaking would result in enhanced survival under harsh soil conditions. Results indicate that soaking willow cuttings for 10 days prior to planting significantly increased biomass production, number of shoots produced, and total height growth in comparison to the 0 and 3 day soaking treatments. Similarly, survival was significantly greater in 10 day soaked cuttings as compared to 0 and 3 day soaking treatments. Soaking effects were mitigated when cuttings were subjected to moisture stress (drought or flooding), but were still significant. The results of this research provide useful information to practitioners for their streambank restoration efforts.