Vegetation monitoring of created dune swale wetlands, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

  • Published source details Parikh A. & Gale N. (1998) Vegetation monitoring of created dune swale wetlands, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Restoration Ecology, 6, 83-93.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore/create freshwater marshes or swamps (multiple actions)

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Restore/create freshwater marshes or swamps (multiple actions)

    A replicated, site comparison study in 1990–1993 of eight dune slacks in California, USA (Parikh & Gale 1998) reported that created slacks contained different plant communities to mature slacks, with more plant species and greater cover of annual herbs (but similar cover of other plant groups). Results summarized for this study are not based on assessments of statistical significance. Over their first three years, created slacks contained plant communities distinct from those in mature slacks – although this distinctiveness declined over time (data reported as a graphical analysis). Created slacks contained 69–86 plant species/year (vs mature: 28–59 species/year). After three years, created slacks had 70–95% cover of annual herbs (vs mature: <1–37%). For all other plant groups, cover did not clearly differ between created and mature slacks: perennial herbs (created: 69–135%; mature: 82–127%), shrubs (created: 27%; mature: 13–86%), trees (created: 7–11%; mature: 0–43%) and floating aquatic plants (created: 3–5%; mature: 0–8%). For data on the abundance of individual plant species, see original paper. Methods: In winter 1990/1991, multiple interventions were used to create wetlands within dune slacks (low-lying areas amongst dunes): removing existing vegetation and topsoil, relandscaping, adding wetland soil and sowing seeds. Afterwards, non-native plants were controlled by cutting, physical removal or herbicide application. Between 1991 and 1993, vegetation was surveyed in the two created slacks (twenty 5-m2 plots/site) and six nearby mature slacks (six to nine 30-m2 plots/site). Surveys included wetlands and immediately adjacent uplands.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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