U.S. Geological Survey Home Page USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Science Meetings; dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Science Meetings dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins Dedicated to Chan Robbins USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Science Meetings dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins Poster Abstracts from USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Science Meetings, October, 2006
Patuxent Science Meeting 2006 Poster Abstract

Vegetation monitoring at the reconstructed Anacostia River Fringe Wetlands

Krafft C, Hammerschlag RS, Hill P (DC Dept. of Health)

In August 2003 planting was completed at the newly-reconstructed 15-acre River Fringe

wetlands along the mainstem of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC. This project is the

third in a series of freshwater tidal wetland reconstructions on the Anacostia River designed and

implemented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) on lands owned by the National Park

Service (NPS). The first was Kenilworth Marsh, planted in 1993; the second was Kingman

Marsh, planted in 2000. Kenilworth and Kingman were both constructed in low-energy

backwaters of the Anacostia, unlike the River Fringe, which was constructed on the high-energy

mainstem, and therefore required protection from sheet piling during the establishment phase.

As the third in a series, the River Fringe reconstruction benefited from lessons learned at the

prior reconstructions, incorporating a streamlined planting list consisting of seven native plant

species, and an extensive system of fencing and flagging to prevent the extensive herbivory by

resident Canada geese instrumental in the decimation of vegetation at the Kingman Marsh site.

USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center has participated in the monitoring of all three of the

reconstruction sites, with a variety of partners including NPS, COE, University of Maryland, and

DC Department of Health (which designed the monitoring protocol for the River Fringe wetlands).

Preliminary analyses of the monitoring data show that, two years post-reconstruction,

vegetation at the River Fringe wetlands has established well, with total vegetative cover

averaging 94 ± 6 % in 2005, and species richness averaging 7 ± 1 species observed per 2 m2

plot. Over eighty plant species were observed in the River Fringe in 2005, indicating that the

River Fringe wetlands continue to provide a habitat rich in a wide variety of plant species. Of the

top ten species in terms of plant cover observed during the course of the project to date, six

were planted, either during the initial planting, or, in the case of Zizania aquatica (wild rice),

during subsequent plantings by the Anacostia Watershed Society. Lythrum salicaria (purple

loosestrife), also among the top ten, is being watched as a potentially problematic non-native

invasive. Future analyses will compare River Fringe plant data with Kingman data from

Friday, September 22, 2006

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