Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Moving Sedges

Carex trichocarpa on a gravel spit at Bluff Spring Fen

This post seems really lame. I wanted to write something profound and insightful about the fact that Proposition 8 passed (which depressed me royally). I just haven't been able to come up with the words. Probably because I'm royally depressed.

OK, look at the pretty plants. A problem that we have in various parts of Bluff Spring Fen occurs when sedgey areas are shaded out long enough that they die off completely, and there is no seed bank. The bare peat doesn't take new plants well, and it's very harrd to gaterh quantities of seed for the plants- mostly sedges- that should be growing there.

(Mostly) Bare peat in a degraded seep

A second problem that we have arises out of the fact that the Fen was slated to become a sewage treatment plant sometime in the 1970s. During site evaluattion, a number of gravel spits were bulldozed out into the fen's wetlands. These alter hydrology, and are often colonized by non-native plants. We are planning to have some of these removed with heavy equipment over the winter. One of them somehow grew up in a native sedge (Carex trichocarpa rather than non-nattive vegetation.

Carex trichocarpa that was transplanted last spring

For about a year, I've been slowly transplanting the sedges off of the gravel spit ant onto an area of bare peat around one of the seeps in a corner of the nature preserve. They have done very well. Most have not only survived but have begun spreading by runners. Onb Saturday, I transplanted a bunch more. I'me hopeful that this area will transform from bare peat (with a few aggressive weeds) into a nice sedge meadow over the next several years.

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At 00:08, Blogger Ur-spo said...

I continually admire your industry and hopes for long time projects

At 12:00, Blogger robin andrea said...

I wanted to write something profound too. Words escape me at the moment. There are court challenges underway. The bigots will be stopped. Nice sedge work there.

At 16:18, Blogger Dave Coulter said...

Good work!

At 09:49, Blogger cedrorum said...

excellent post. Glad to hear you are having success transplanting. When you say these plants have been spreading runners, do you mean rhizomes? I'm curious as we have a species of concern plant that has individuals connected by rhizomes under the ground as far as 3 feet apart. You've got me thinking about some things as far as transplanting.

At 08:54, Blogger Texas Travelers said...

Congratulations on the commitment and hard work. You will be rewarded.

Nice write-up and photos.

It's always enjoyable seeing what others are doing.

thanks for the recent visit,

PS: Small AK Sun. is posted.

At 22:09, Blogger Robert V. Sobczak said...

Sedges are very exciting ... especially with photo points.

At 22:49, Blogger Kathiesbirds said...

Doug, so sorry about the depression. It shows in your spelling. If it helps, I gave you a blog award. Come by and see. Good work on the transplanting. I haven't seen any of your butterflys however, though I am keeping my eyes open.

At 12:21, Anonymous Mark H said...

I am always amazed at the EXTENT of work you're doing in the fen and love hearing about progress. I am amazed at 3 little grasses I planted on the berm....so SLOW to spread, but beautiful, and after 3 years, a couple of runners. They bloomed for the first time this year. I love 'em. Glad to see those in the fen.


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