Portland State University. Department of Environmental Science and Management
J. Alan Yeakley
Date of Award
Master of Science (M.S.) in Environmental Science and Management
Environmental Science and Management
1 online resource (viii, 142 pages)
Phalaris, Polygonum, Altered hydrology, Reed canary grass -- Oregon -- Portland, Wetland management -- Lower Columbia River Watershed (Or. and Wash.), Wetlands -- Weed control -- Lower Columbia River Watershed (Or. and Wash.), Floodplain ecology -- Lower Columbia River Watershed (Or. and Wash.)
I sought to determine the effect of managed flooding on Phalaris arundinacea L. and other plant species distributions in a large wetland complex, Smith and Bybee Wetlands (SBW), in northwestern Oregon. Altered hydrology has reduced historically high spring flow and prematurely initiated the historic summer drying period at SBW. This alteration has increased the coverage of invasive plants (e.g., P. arundinacea) causing a decrease in native plant cover and thus degrading ecological functions. SBW managers installed a water control structure (WCS) between SBW and the Columbia Slough/River system to impound winter rainfall and thus approximate the ecological benefits that natural flooding provided as well as reduce the abundance of P. arundinacea. Prior researchers conducted intensive vegetation and hydrological monitoring in 2003 (during the season immediately before WCS installation) and 2004. I conducted similar analysis in the fifth and sixth years, 2008 and 2009, following establishment of the WCS. Both study years, I determined percent cover of all vegetation on transects established in 2003. The results, including 2004, as well as 2008 and 2009 showed a reduced cover of P. arundinacea in areas experiencing at least 0.6 meters of inundation and an increased cover of native plant communities when compared to the 2003 baseline data. Native Carex aperta Boott. cover increased 7-fold from 0.3% to 2.3%; Polygonum species cover increased from 20.0% to 52.6%; and Salix lucida Muhl. ssp. lasiandra (Benth.) E. Murray cover increased from 10.9% to 15.5% cover. P. arundinacea declined by over one-third from 44.4% to 28.1% cover following water management. Since hydrology management began, the native Polygonum species community replaced P. arundinacea as the dominant species in the emergent zone. The results of this study refined the suggested depth of inundation needed to reduce P. arundinacea cover in such lake-wetland complexes as SBW from 0.85 meters (based on 2004 study results) to 0.6 meters. Shannon Diversity decreased following water management. The findings of this study demonstrated that water management can enhance native bottomland communities, especially those comprised of obligate wetland species, and reduce P. arundinacea cover in areas experiencing at least 0.6 meters of inundation.
Farrelly, Tina Schantz, "Long-term Responses of Phalaris arundinacea and Columbia River Bottomland Vegetation to Managed Flooding" (2012). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 787.