Restoring restoration: Removal of the invasive plant Microstegium vimineum from a North Carolina wetland
Restoration sites are vulnerable to plant invasions due to habitat and resource alteration. We conducted an invasive plant-removal study at a wetland restoration in the North Carolina Piedmont, a site dominated by the non-native invasive, Microstegium vimineum. Paired plots (M. vimineum hand-weeded and unweeded) were established and maintained to monitor response of plant species richness and diversity. Plots increased from 4 to 15 species m-2 after three growing seasons of M. vimineum removal and 90% of the newly establishing species were native. Weeding ceased in the fourth growing season and M. vimineum rapidly re-invaded. Formerly weeded plots increased to 59% (±11% SE) M. vimineum cover, 25 of 51 plant species disappeared from the plots, and species richness decreased to an average of <8 species m-2. Our results show that we can quickly establish an abundant, diverse community with invasive removal, but that persistent effort is required to monitor and maintain the long-term viability of this community. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.
DeMeester, JE; deB. Richter, D
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