Shade 2009edit

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Restoration in the Arid Southwest with Case Studies from the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts

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  • Again, pics distorted, can we get the originals?
  • Shade 2009edit

    1. 1. Ecological Restoration Challenges in the Arid Southwest: Case Studies in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts Lori Woods, RLA and Carianne Funicelli Presented to SHADE Conference August 2009
    2. 2. “ Revegetation” is not the Same as “Restoration”
    3. 3. Restoration Goals <ul><li>Habitat for Threatened and Endangered Species </li></ul><ul><li>Watershed Health </li></ul><ul><li>Improve Conditions for Native Pollinator Populations </li></ul><ul><li>Beneficial Use of Effluent Wastewater </li></ul>
    4. 4. Planning for Restoration <ul><li>Site selection and analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a plan: Grading, Considerations for Plant Materials, Irrigation needs, Maintenance and Monitoring </li></ul>
    5. 5. Creating an Appropriate Native Plant Palette <ul><li>Characterization of Existing </li></ul><ul><li>Vegetation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Onsite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At desirable reference sites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review Floristic Information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Value to wildlife species </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Historical data </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Container Plants and Seed Mix </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is available commercially? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporate flexibility in lists to avoid delays </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water usage </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Source Identified Seed Material
    7. 7. Seed Collection, Bulking, and Storage Appropriate timing of seed collection Seed bulking of native grasses Store seeds in a cool, dry location
    8. 8. TOUGH LOVE = Restoration Quality Plants <ul><li>HIGH ROOT TO SHOOT RATIO </li></ul><ul><li>LIMITED WATER – CONTROLLED DROUGHT </li></ul><ul><li>FULL SUN </li></ul><ul><li>NO PESTICIDES </li></ul><ul><li>NO FERTILIZERS </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>Native Soil </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced nutrient content inhibits weed growth (native species are often adapted to low nutrient conditions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved water retention compared to traditional nursery mix </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Native mycorrhizal component already in soil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced transplanting stress </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Salvage of Native Plant Materials
    11. 11. Site Preparation <ul><ul><li>Earthwork </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dethatching/ weed control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Irrigation installation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adding natural materials to provide structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Erosion/ Sediment control </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Water Above or below ground? Temporary or Permanent?
    13. 13. Invasive Species Management: Species Identification, Best Methods
    14. 14. Invasive Species Control: EARLY AND OFTEN!
    15. 15. Plant Protection microclimate, visibility, protection from herbivores and trampling
    16. 16. Rillito River Ecosystem Restoration
    17. 18. <ul><li>Concept plan developed by USACE and Pima County Regional Flood Control District. </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed project design developed by RECON (Landscape Architect and Vegetation Ecologist). </li></ul><ul><li>Design team had continuous involvement throughout the project and positive collaboration with sponsors and contractors. </li></ul>Project Process
    18. 19. Rillito River Park
    19. 20. FIRST PRIORITY = Keep the Good Stuff!
    20. 21. Get Rid of the Bad Stuff… buffelgrass, tamarisk, Sahara mustard, Russian thistle, African sumac, Mexican paloverde, giant reed, yellow starthistle, yellow bird of paradise, cocklebur, filaree, malva, Bermuda grass, London rocket, cheeseweed, horehound, tree tobacco…
    21. 22. A Couple of Surprises…
    22. 24. Irrigation & Stormwater Harvesting <ul><li>Temporary System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>plant palette designed to be self-sustaining once established </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reclaimed water </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stormwater harvesting basins to capture onsite flow and direct water to plantings </li></ul>
    23. 26. Irrigation versus water harvesting (7 months)
    24. 27. Habitat Considerations
    25. 28. Stump treatment to preserve habitat for reptiles and small mammals
    26. 29. Structure = Shelter <ul><li>Variety in types of plants (vines, grasses, trees, shrubs) </li></ul><ul><li>Mosaic of habitat types to meet needs of as many different species as possible </li></ul>
    27. 32. Food Resources seeds, berries, nectar, insects...
    28. 33. Comparison of 3 Areas: AREA 1 AREA 2 AREA 3 Location along the south bank of the Rillito River Just west of Craycroft Road East of Swan Road, just east of Alamo Wash End of Columbus Boulevard Approximate acres planted (smaller than total project area) 6.5 3 20 Installation complete date December 2007 April 2008 January 2008 Trees (15-gal) 187 77 875 Shrubs (5-gal) 496 158 2053 Small perennials (1-gal) 377 130 4073 Total number of container plants installed 1060 (25 species) 365 (18 species) 7001 (42 species) Seed mix 18 species 24 species 24 species Invasives issues Mexican paloverde, tamarisk, cheeseweed, desert broom, mustards Mexican paloverde, buffelgrass Tamarisk, buffelgrass, African sumac, giant reed, Bermuda grass
    29. 34. <ul><li>Important breeding area for 3 species of amphibians: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Couch’s spadefoot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mexican spadefoot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Great Plains toad </li></ul></ul>Amphibian Conservation
    30. 35. Avoid Impacts <ul><li>Preserve islands of habitat and use construction fencing to avoid compaction </li></ul>
    31. 36. Amphibian Salvage and Translocation
    32. 37. Terraces
    33. 38. Plant Installation & Layout <ul><li>Natural-looking patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Individual basins at each plant </li></ul><ul><li>Protection from critters </li></ul>
    34. 39. Hydroseeding
    35. 40. 5-Year Monitoring Plan <ul><ul><li>Qualitative monitoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plant health </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wildlife use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Weed invasion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Repeat photos </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantitative monitoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Transects </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Success parameters </li></ul></ul></ul>
    36. 41. From straight concrete channels… Photos this slide courtesy of Andrew Wigg, Pima County Regional Flood Control District
    37. 42. To a Moonscape…
    38. 43. To Moonscape with Dormant Plants…
    39. 44. To Mustard Fields…..
    40. 45. On the Way to Valuable Wildlife Habitat...
    41. 46. 4 February 2008 16 December 2008 On the Ground...
    42. 47. From the air… 2006 2008
    43. 48. Saguaro National Park Loop Road Revegetation (January 2007) <ul><li>108 small sites </li></ul><ul><li>variety of surfaces </li></ul>
    44. 49. Plant Materials <ul><li>seed grown by Tucson Plant Materials Center </li></ul><ul><li>salvaged prior to construction </li></ul><ul><li>onsite salvage </li></ul>
    45. 51. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Restoration Plan (2008) <ul><li>86 acres </li></ul><ul><li>Lukeville Border Fence Project </li></ul>
    46. 52. Endangered Species <ul><li>Sonoran pronghorn </li></ul><ul><li>Lesser long-nosed bat </li></ul>
    47. 53. Offsite Mitigation <ul><li>Duplicate roads </li></ul><ul><li>Illegal roads, ORV use </li></ul><ul><li>Construction staging areas </li></ul>
    48. 54. Restore Ecosystem Function <ul><li>Restore natural drainage patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Micrograding to restore original contours </li></ul><ul><li>Erosion control </li></ul>
    49. 55. Habitat Values
    50. 56. Close Coordination with NPS <ul><li>Establish restoration goals and rapport with local NPS Resource staff </li></ul><ul><li>Field trips </li></ul><ul><li>Workshops </li></ul><ul><li>Document Review </li></ul>
    51. 57. Restoration Prescriptions <ul><li>Based on Landscape Type Associations </li></ul><ul><li>Unique Assemblages of </li></ul><ul><li>Geology </li></ul><ul><li>Soils </li></ul><ul><li>Vegetation </li></ul><ul><li>Landform </li></ul>
    52. 58. Site Specific Treatment <ul><li>Cultural resources monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Local seed collection according to LTA and watershed </li></ul><ul><li>Erosion control </li></ul><ul><li>Grading </li></ul><ul><li>Special circumstances </li></ul>
    53. 59. Carlsbad Caverns National Park Visitor Center Landscape Rehabilitation (September 2008)
    54. 60. Scope of Project <ul><li>1,500 grass plugs </li></ul><ul><li>6 specimen trees </li></ul><ul><li>450+ cacti and succulents previously salvaged </li></ul><ul><li>Salvage plants from planter </li></ul><ul><li>Design and install underground drip irrigation </li></ul>
    55. 61. Working together
    56. 62. In one week...
    57. 63. In one week...
    58. 64. Underground Irrigation
    59. 65. Challenges <ul><li>Timeframe </li></ul><ul><li>Remote park, availability of supplies </li></ul><ul><li>In-field modification </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate visibility - visitor interaction, upcoming grand opening </li></ul>
    60. 66. Questions?

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