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Vernal Pools - MAD Scientist 2 09


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Vernal Pool presentation by MAD Scientist Associates on Feb 21, 2009

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Vernal Pools - MAD Scientist 2 09

  1. 1. Specialists in Ecological & Wetland Consulting OEC 2009 Vernal Pool Workshop
  2. 2. MAD Scientist & Associates LLC Established in 1998 Mark A. Dilley Chris S. Dilley Founder and Co-Owner Co-Owner
  3. 3. MAD Scientist & Associates LLC Technical Staff Mark A. Dilley, M.S., P.W.S. Professional Wetland Scientist • Certified Ecologist • B.S. in Natural Resources, OSU • M.S. in Environmental Science, OSU • J. David Strong Environmental Scientist • Kashmira Asnani, M.S. Ecologist •
  4. 4. Vernal Pool Construction Alternate Title: Mark vs. the Pizza!!
  5. 5. What Makes A Wetland? 3 Parameters: May be Hydrophytic vegetation sparse in Obligate wetland (OBL) • some vernal Facultative (FACW, FAC, FACU) pools! • Obligate upland (UPL) • Hydric soils Low chroma • Mottles • Wetland hydrology Inundation • Saturation • Other indicators •
  6. 6. Wetland Hydrology
  7. 7. Hydric Soil
  8. 8. Site Selection “Location, Location, Location!” •Avoid existing wetlands! •Consider the neighbors (mosquitoes and flooding may not be appreciated!) •Avoid areas with livestock •Adjacent upland habitat and nearby wetlands are a plus (many would argue a necessity!)
  9. 9. Site Selection (continued) •Consider (and adjust for) factors that will influence hydrologic regime (frequency and duration of flooding), including sunlight exposure, soil permeability, annual precipitation and evaporation, transpiration, and water depth. •Be cautious with sites that have a high water table!
  10. 10. Topography/ Landscape Position •Look for areas where water would naturally collect (floodplains, valleys) •Flat areas (<3% slope) make for easier/less expensive pool development •Embankment pools on hillsides are possible
  11. 11. Soils •Drained hydric soils are ideal •Silt loams, silty clay loams (fine textured soils) are generally suited to pool construction (permeability rates <0.2 in/hr; can check with simple equipment) •Drainage class of somewhat poorly drained to poorly drained •Liners, while not recommended, can be used in areas that drain too rapidly ($$$)
  12. 12. Sizing •Gaps in forest community as small as 15’ x 15’ can suffice (tree removal is generally discouraged) •Vernal pools do not require a large watershed, due to the low storage volume •Typical sizes range from several hundred square feet to 3 or more acres
  13. 13. Site Preparation •Invasive species removal •Trash clean up •Mark areas, trees to avoid •Determine, clear and mark route of ingress and egress •Mark pool, berm, and soil disposal locations
  14. 14. Earthwork •Remove and stockpile topsoil (seedbank and rooting medium) •Excavate shallow depression (1’-2’; use laser- guided equipment if possible; go deeper to allow for addition of topsoil) •If constructing a berm, dig, fill and compact core trench before building berm (in layers) on top •Use gentle slopes (15:1 or greater) •Install spillway (and control structure, if desired)
  15. 15. Earthwork (continued) •Spread topsoil across wetland •Mini-excavator and small bulldozer will typically suffice •Look for competent operators TNT can make vernal pool construction a blast!!!
  16. 16. Planting •Seed and mulch (include cover crop) •Plugs = instant wetland plants! •Container grown trees and shrubs •For a variety of reasons, you may wish to avoid planting woody species on berms •Don’t forget the buffer!
  17. 17. Accessorizing •Add structure in the form of logs, rocks, leaf litter, small high spots of soil, and “specimen” plants •Do not let anyone convince you that tires are vernal pool accessories!
  18. 18. Example Projects and Lessons Learned Heritage Park Phase II Boyer Nature Preserve Vernal Pool Mitigation Area
  19. 19. Heritage Park Phase II, Westerville, OH
  20. 20. Vernal Pool
  21. 21. Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis or H. versicolor)
  22. 22. On-site Mitigation Wetland #1 Soon After Construction
  23. 23. On-site Mitigation Wetland #1 First Year - 2003 Lesson Learned: Seed banks work!!
  24. 24. On-site Mitigation Wetland #1 First Year - 2003
  25. 25. Spring 2004 – Amphibians Heritage Park Mitigation Wetlands N. LeopardToad American Frog (Rana pipiens) (Bufo americanus americanus) Lesson Learned: Build it and they will come!
  26. 26. Boyer Nature Preserve
  27. 27. Mitigation Opportunity • Concerns of long-term neighbors regarding loss of spring peepers • Probably a loss of habitat issue • City was advised to look for opportunities to create vernal pools as replacement habitat • FACT promoted local mitigation at this preserve to off-set impacts within the local watershed
  28. 28. Draft Master Plan
  29. 29. The Vernal Pool Site Covered in Amur honeysuckle Preparation Wetland delineation Invasive species removal (FACT volunteers and others)
  30. 30. Site Preparation
  31. 31. Vernal Pool Excavation
  32. 32. Seeding and Planting Lesson Learned: Plugs are a reliable way to jump-start the plant community
  33. 33. Adaptive Management Issues Lesson Learned: Properly size culverts or avoid altogether
  34. 34. Three Years Later…
  35. 35. Young American Toad No spring peepers – yet!
  36. 36. Some satisfied vernal pool customers!!
  37. 37. Resources •See handout for recommended books •MAD Scientist & Associates
  38. 38. THANK YOU! Questions?