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Title: The Santa Margarita River Arundo donax control project: development of methods and plant community response

Author: Lawson, Dawn M.; Giessow, Jesse A.; Giessow, Jason H.;

Date: 2005

Source: In: Kus, Barbara E., and Beyers, Jan L., technical coordinators. Planning for Biodiversity: Bringing Research and Management Together. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-195. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 229-244

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: A large-scale effort to control the aggressively invasive exotic species Arundo donax in the Santa Margarita River watershed in California’s south coast ecoregion was initiated in 1997. The project was prompted by the need for Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton to address impacts to habitat for federally-listed endangered species and wetlands regulated by the Army Corps of Engineers. As of 2000, 27 km of the main stem of the Santa Margarita River had been treated. The methods employed were tested in preliminary trials before widespread implementation; additional techniques emerged during the course of the project. Although the primary target is A. donax, 14 other invasive exotic species that also threaten riparian ecosystem functions were treated when encountered. Vegetation-monitoring transects were established in A. donax removal areas to document the effectiveness of the different treatments and recovery of plant communities. A. donax was reduced by over 90 percent after the first treatment and accounted for less than 2 percent absolute cover after three follow-up annual treatments. An experiment testing low-cost methods for establishing woody species after A. donax control was also conducted. Cuttings were installed with no follow-up maintenance. Approximately 30 percent of Baccharis salicifolia and large (3-6 m) willow cuttings survived 2 years.

Keywords: Arundo donax control, invasive species, riparian restoration, Santa Margarita River

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Lawson, Dawn M.; Giessow, Jesse A.; Giessow, Jason H. 2005. The Santa Margarita River Arundo donax control project: development of methods and plant community response. In: Kus, Barbara E., and Beyers, Jan L., technical coordinators. Planning for Biodiversity: Bringing Research and Management Together. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-195. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 229-244

 


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