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Riparian plants part 1 display version


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Shorline Plants of Pigeon Lake - Shoreline health is critical for a healthy lake. This is is a 3-part presentation filled with photos from Pigeon Lake on to steward the shoreline plants.

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Riparian plants part 1 display version

  1. 1. Riparian / Shoreline Plants in the Pigeon Lake Area What’s a Wildflower ? What’s a Weed ? Part 1 of 3 1
  2. 2. We are the difference…Whatever you value about the lake, and/or surroundingarea: young people, campers, sailors, land developers,store keepers, cottage owners, birders, fishers, retirees,farmers, 3rd generation and new owners… depends on the lake and surrounding area beingnaturally healthy.Shoreline health is a vital component for the health ofPigeon Lake and the surrounding area. 2
  3. 3. Presentation IntentionThis presentation (all 3 Parts) encourages effective shorelinestewardship by providing information about: – Important functions and elements of a healthy shoreline. – Plant related information on bringing compromised shorelines back to health. – Plant identification information, along with tips for: • Transplanting and propagating the native plants; and • Disposing of the non-native plants. 3
  4. 4. Parts, Sections & Content: Slides1 I. Riparian / Shoreline Areas 4 - 13 II. Native Trees & Shrubs for Riparian Areas 15 - 23 III. Native Grass, Reeds, Sedges & Bulrushes 23 – 342 IV. Native Wild Flowers for Riparian Areas 6 - 203 I. Weeds found in Riparian Areas 1 – 23 I. Other Resources Near End Part 3 II. Acknowledgements End of Each Part Also: 4 • Valuable & Interesting Tidbits Throughout
  5. 5. I. Riparian / Shoreline Areas • Riparian Areas Explained • Value of Healthy Riparian Areas • Healthy & Unhealthy Shorelines 5
  6. 6. Riparian Areas Trees, shrubs, sedges, rushes and grasses that grow in the lower riparian zone or upper part of the aquatic zone are all part of this presentation. 6
  7. 7. Healthy riparian areas provide benefits far beyond the small % of the land itoccupies. For example when well vegetated riparian areas:•Stabilize the soil and banks from erosion.•Improve water quality by acting as a sponge and filter. – Regulating the release of rainwater into the lake – Removing sediment and other elements from runoff . (USDA studies show how riparian buffers can reduce nitrogen from agricultural runoff by 68%.) – Partly regulating the water temperature with shoreline plants and tree shade.•Provides critical habitat. “80% of Alberta’s wildlife use riparian areas for all or part of their lifecycle requirements.” * – People: - Enjoy cool shade, desirable scenery, the critters and serene waters. – Find areas for activities such as, fishing, winter sports, picnicking and camping. – Enhances and protects our property values. – Fish: Shade, woody debris, terrestrial litter and food. – Animals: Provides high energy food sources, places to hide and nest, and avenues to move to different areas. (Some fences, buildings and roads restrict wildlife corridors) – Insects: The diversity and concentration of vegetation provides habitat. The insects in turn are a critical source of food for birds, fish and animals. 7 * Cows and Fish -
  8. 8. Artificial shoreline of Pigeon Lake at Zeiner Campground; natural wooded shoreline (west shore) in background. 8
  9. 9. Conditions of the Pigeon Lake ShorelinesAlberta Sustainable Development - Fish & Wildlife June 2008 9
  10. 10. We each need to restore and/orpreserve as much of the natural 10
  11. 11. Healthy native shoreline at Ma-Me-O Beach July, 2009 11
  12. 12. Natural shorelines preserve natural plant diversity and provide bothriparian (bank and shoreline) and aquatic habitat.Biodiversity is a fundamental component in ecosystem functioning. Plantdiversity is very important for many reasons, three are:Natural Control, Checks and Balance The different types of plants keep blights and pests in check.Meeting the nutritional needs of insects, birds and animals Like humans, insects, birds and animals all need a range of food tomeet their nutritional requirements for good health.Resilience 12
  13. 13. Healthy native shoreline. Zeiner Campground July 2009: 13Left, looking toward the lake right, looking toward top of shore.
  14. 14. Native vegetationfills the mouth ofPigeon Lake Creek(July 2009) where itempties into PigeonLake.Find nativevegetation aroundmuddy deltasalongside sandybeaches. 14
  15. 15. Throughout the presentation the bad, non-native, invasive plants are bordered by RED; the Fireweed Himalayan Balsam Creeping (Canada) Thistle 15
  16. 16. II. Native Trees & Shrubs for Riparian Areas Learn more about... The native trees and shrubs that grow around Pigeon Lake. 16
  17. 17. Top of bank trees: Left, Balsam Poplar; Right, Aspen 17
  18. 18. Balsam Poplar, Aspen and White Spruce can be planted to create native shoreline habitat.They can be obtained from nurseries, grown from seed or transplanted as seedlings from natural seedlings growing abundantly on muddy lake shores. Balsam poplar leaves and seeds. 18
  19. 19. If you see seedlings like these where you do not want trees, remove them. They can also be added to create native habitat to enhance its functioning. They can be dug up (provided they are not attached to parent trees) and transplanted where you want.Balsam Poplar seedling Aspen seedling; 19
  20. 20. Willows are tall, bushyshrubs, that provideabundant food and shelterfor wildlife.They can be grown fromseed or readily propagatedfrom switches cut fromvigorous shoots and rootedin water or moist sand.Keep moist after roots havedeveloped from the stemsand the whole has beentransplanted. 20
  21. 21. Sandbar Willowcolonizes largestretches of moist sandand mud along lakeand river shores. It has the narrowest leaves of all our provincial willows. 21
  22. 22. Red-osier Dogwood can be propagated in a similar manner to willows. With a little pruning it can form an attractive bushy shrub.A favourite food of moose and deer. Red-osier Dogwood 22
  23. 23. Smaller native shrubs include…Currants and gooseberries (left),that require moist soils.Wild roses can tolerate drier soils,e.g. at the top of sandy shores. 23
  24. 24. III. Native Grasses, Reeds, Sedges Common around parts of Pigeon Lake, the plants in this section provide critical habitat for many of our lake creatures. Fig 37 from the Atlas of Alberta Lakes (Alberta Conservation Assoc and the University of Alberta, Department of Biological Sciences 24
  25. 25. Most of the plants included inthis section grow in the Emergent zoneor just up on the shoreline. Fig 41 from the Atlas of Alberta Lakes (Alberta Conservation Assoc and the University of Alberta, Department of Biological Sciences 25
  26. 26. On some of theshoreline, cattailsform a fringe.They are an extremelyimportant componentof riparian vegetationbecause they filter outpollutants from thewater, taking them intothe plant body.They also provideexcellent cover forwater birds. 26
  27. 27. These at Pigeon Lake Village, have their flowers emerging from their protective sheaths. The upper part of the spike consists of hundreds of tiny pollen-bearing flowers; the lower, velvety green portion consists of female flowers. As the fruits in this lower part of the cylinder ripen, it turns brown, producing the characteristic brown “cigar.” Cattails spread by the thickThey are thought to be easily white rhizomes that are edible,propagated, from pieces of and can be grown from seed.rhizome or from seed. 27
  28. 28. Bulrushes are very common and important components of shoreline vegetation. Like cattails they have spongy stems with lots of air spaces to provide the plant with air since the roots are waterlogged. In the foreground is Common Great Bulrush; inGreat Bulrushes tolerate deeper water better the background Greatthan the Common Great Bulrushes which tend to Bulrush.grow slightly higher up the shore.They also have slightly smaller brown flowerclusters than the Common Great Bulrush. Picture taken at the mouth of Pigeon Lake Creek 28
  29. 29. Small-fruited Bulrush (left) is very common …as is Creeping Spike-rush 29
  30. 30. They may form extensive patches like the sedge on the left, or thick, sprawling clumps, like the sedge on the right.Sedges are common grass-like plants found slightly higher up the shore. 30
  31. 31. Most grass you see on the shore is likely to be native. 31
  32. 32. Bluejoint orMarsh Reed Grass ,is among the mostcommon of grass ofour wetlands andmoist forests. 32
  33. 33. Slough Grass Knotted Rush Also common shore plants. 33
  34. 34. Wire Rush is likely the most common rush, seen almost everywhere in wet places.It spreads by means of a horizontal underground stem or rhizome. 34
  35. 35. Field Horsetail (left); Swamp Horsetail (right) 35
  36. 36. Also see… Riparian / Shoreline Plants in the Pigeon Lake Area • Part 2 – Native Wild Flowers & • Part 3 – Weeds 36