Defense Date

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Edward R. Crawford

Abstract

Ecological restoration of a converted wetland was characterized within a recently drained impoundment along the James River in Charles City County, Virginia. Colonizing vegetation was assessed over three growing seasons in both tidal and non-tidal environments. Study objectives were to (1) examine geospatial relations of recruitment patterns among colonizing species over three growing seasons, (2) quantify species composition and potential differences between extant species cover and soil seed banks across restored and natural wetland habitats and (3) assess geospatial patterns to develop a GIS model of bald cypress (Taxodium distichum L.) recruitment. The two most common native colonizing species during 2009, 2010 and 2011 growing seasons were narrow-leaf cattail (Typha angustifolia L.) and rice cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides L.). Vegetative communities dominated by these two species covered 72% of the basin in each growing season. Differences were observed between extant species cover in the field and seed bank species across habitats. Two hundred and eighty T. distichum individuals have been located in wetland habitats at the VCU Rice Center. Using a GIS weighted suitability model we identified potential areas within the restored wetland for natural and facilitated bald cypress recruitment. At the VCU Rice Center ~9.7 ha have potential for natural regeneration and ~48.5 ha have potential for facilitated restoration of T. distichum.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2012

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