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Responses of Salix Gooddingii and Tamarix Ramosissima to Flooding

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Abstract:Impoundments create artificial shorelines that differ from natural lake shorelines in patterns of water-level fluctuations, flow, sediment transport, and shoreline vegetation dynamics. Shoreline plant communities in the American Southwest often become dominated by mature, senescent Populus and Salix, with few if any seedlings. The failure of native plant community replacement is exacerbated by the fact that Tamarix, a prolific invader, is abundant on regulated rivers and occupies extensive areas along the shores of impoundments. Efforts to replant natives within the often-flooded drawdown zone surrounding Lake Mohave, a lower Colorado River impoundment bordering Nevada and Arizona, have not been successful. A greenhouse experiment was designed to examine the responses of cuttings of a native species, Salix
gooddingii (Goodings willow), and the invasive species, Tamarix ramosissima (salt cedar), to
different water levels comparable to those influencing Lake Mohave riparian plant communities
High survival and rapid growth under saturated but not flooded soil conditions demonstrated that both Salix and Tamarix cuttings can prosper in soils within the exposed drawdown zone,
provided the shoots are not submerged. However, particularly rapid growth in Tamarix under
conditions favorable to the native Salix also indicates that Tamarix invasion will have to be
controlled. Revegetation efforts must include matching the natural hydrodynamics of the
waterway to the requirements of native plant species.

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Citation:Tallenthalsell, N. G., and L. M. Walker. Responses of Salix Gooddingii and Tamarix Ramosissima to Flooding. WETLANDS 22(4):776-785, (2003).
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Landscape Ecology Branch
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 01/27/2003
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Development of Landscape Indicators for Use in Regional Ecological Risk Assessments
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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