Hailstone nps

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<p>Slide 1</p> <p>Vegetation Distribution on a Saline Landscape</p> <p>Hailstone National Wildlife RefugeWestscape Native NurseryMarch 12, 2013</p> <p>Salinization of landscapes is an increasing problem worldwide and contributes to the degradation of water quality and soils. This can have far reaching effects on everything from human and wildlife health to agricultural security. It has been estimated that as much as 20% of all arable land is affected by high salt levels. Salinization is potentially exacerbated by altered hydrologic regimes and changing global climate. </p> <p>Managers with the US Fish and Wildlife Service have been faced with negative effects of salinization at a wildlife refuge in central Montana which is the location of my study site, Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge.</p> <p>Next: Location Map1Nelson, 2009</p> <p>BillingsBozeman</p> <p>Hailstone NWR2Hailstone is located in Northern Stillwater County, MT</p> <p>Next: Landscape &amp; plants</p> <p>RegionalGroundwater SalinityConcentrationsHailstone NWRNelson, USFWS 2009This regional salinity map depicts salinity concentration of the Cretaceous aquifer; the darkest purple shade contains up to 10,000 mg/l of dissolved solids and Hailstone lies on the margins where the aquifer can contain upwards of 3,000 mg/l.</p> <p>Next: Basin3</p> <p>Watershed Area = 12,634 hectares Reservoir Area = 226 hectaresVolume = 2,168,461 kilolitersCourtesy Google Maps - TerrainHailstone BasinTopographically, Hailstone Lake sits on the terminal hydrologic flow path of Hailstone Basin, outlined here in blue.</p> <p>Lake water rarely got high enough to reach the dam spillway and exit the basin and generally was considered a closed basin under normal circumstances.</p> <p>Next: GW flow at Hailstone4</p> <p>Elevation of Groundwater USFWS 2009This map depicts groundwater elevations which sits on top of the shallow Cretaceous shales and are the source of salts in the basin. Groundwater also flows toward the lake. </p> <p>Coincident with dam construction, crop fallow dryland farming practices were initiated in the 1940s, in the basin, just upslope of the lake. </p> <p>Next: Time series</p> <p>5Nelson, USFWS 2009</p> <p>1941</p> <p>1954</p> <p>1962</p> <p>1979</p> <p>1991</p> <p>2003Time lapse aerial photos from 1941 to 2003</p> <p>Red line DamBlue Line Lake Boundary 2000 Census Tiger Data</p> <p>Note farm field to the west</p> <p>Next: saltbergs6</p> <p>Hailstone Reservoir at 54% Salt - 2003</p> <p>TDS levels exceeding 500,000 ppm</p> <p>(Seawater ~ 34,000 ppm)Nelson, USFWS 2009ProblemElevated waterfowl and wildlife mortality. </p> <p>7By 2003, lake salinity levels reached million ppm and waterfowl mortality increased as a result of physical and physiologic effects of salts and selenium.</p> <p>By 2009, refuge managers called for a plan to decommission the lake via dewatering and dam removal to eliminate the primary aquatic attractant. The result was the exposure of over 162 hectares of highly salinized lake-bottom sediments. My project was to examine vegetation characteristics on the refuge, and to provide technical information that may be useful in future revegetation efforts in the area. </p> <p>Next: oblique</p> <p>Crop FallowGoogle Earth Image, 2011Saline SeepAt Hailstone, a combination of these unique geologic, hydrologic and land-use practices have exacerbated salinity on the refuge over the years.</p> <p>Next: Seep diagram8</p> <p>Saline Seep DevelopmentMcCauley &amp; Jones, 2005In process, crop fallow is a type of cropping system used to increase soil moisture. In alternating years, fields are left fallow in order to increase soil moisture for crop use in consequent growing seasons. </p> <p>In an unintended consequence of crop fallow, precipitation moves past the rooting zone where it is not used by plants, hits a less permeable or impermeable layer, moves laterally and downward picking up salts, and is discharged from the ground at a point down-gradient. As water evaporates, salts are left behind.</p> <p>Next: Plant response9</p> <p>Seelig 2000</p> <p>Soil ClassificationEC (dS/m)SARpHSaline&gt; 4.0&lt; 12&lt; 8.5Sodic&lt; 4.0&gt; 12&gt; 8.5Saline-Sodic&gt; 4.0&gt; 12&lt; 8.5Non-stress ConditionStress ConditionEffects of Salinity on VegetationSoil salinity is detrimental to most plants and they work hard to excluded salts at the root level. In soils with high salinity, plants are unable to uptake water because of decreased osmotic pressures.</p> <p>Sodium is toxic to most plants and in sodic soils, there is a greater proportion of sodium in relation to two other dominant cations, Mg and Ca and this ratio is expressed as Sodium Adsorption Ratio.</p> <p>Electrical Conductivity is the primary unit used when measuring salts in the soil. Based on these classifications, soils can be saline, sodic or saline-sodic. </p> <p>Next: seep and halophyte photo10</p> <p>Unique salt tolerant plants are called halophytes. They have varying degrees of salinity tolerance and use various mechanisms to do so: exclude salts at the rooting zone, isolate them within the plant in vacuoles or translocate salts through their aboveground tissues. </p> <p>Next: Problem and Goals11ProblemElevated salinity &amp; selenium causing severe waterfowl and wildlife mortality. GoalsExamine vegetation distribution, landscape characteristics, hydrology and soil chemistry. </p> <p>Compare these conditions with vegetation.So at Hailstone, the problem was well established. </p> <p>I laid out a number of goals to help guide research activities: Examine vegetation, landscape position, hydrology and soil chemistry and compare the conditions.</p> <p>Next: Objectives12Vegetation CharacteristicsObjectives</p> <p>1) Identify plants on selected sampling points, measure canopy cover by species, determine species richness and calculate diversity. Classify plants using known indices for anoxia/saturation toleration (USFWS) and salt tolerance (USDA).At each sampling point the following vegetation data was collected and analyzed.</p> <p>Next: Transect and sample points photo13</p> <p>Objective: VegetationABCDUpon initial site inspection, the predominant visual characteristic were repeated patterns of vegetation bands, running parallel from the shoreline toward the upland which is a patent characteristic of many wetlands. </p> <p>Ten transects were chosen within the refuge and sampling points were randomly located within the four closest bands to the lake. These points were labeled A through D moving outward and upward from the lake or tributary channel.</p> <p>Next: Sample point locations map14</p> <p>50 cm x 50 cm(2500 cm2)sampling frame</p> <p>vegetation identified</p> <p>percent cover estimatedfor each speciesObjective: VegetationA sampling frame was used in each sample point; all species identified and percent cover of each species was measured and recorded.</p> <p>Next: WIS table15</p> <p>Salicornia rubra - glasswort, swamp fireweedUSDA Plants DatabasePositionSpeciesWIScanopy coverASalicornia rubraOBL70%Objective: VegetationThis is a small, annual, succulent chenopod. Its highly salt tolerant and often found as the only species in many areas at Hailstone.16</p> <p>Suaeda calceoliformis - seepweedUSDA Plants DatabasePositionSpeciesWIScanopy coverBSuaeda calceoliformisFACW22%Objective: VegetationThis plant often occurs growing directly on salty soils and is also an annual chenopod.17</p> <p>Distichlis spicata saltgrassUSDA Plants DatabasePositionSpeciesWIScanopy coverCDistichlis spicataFACW16%</p> <p>Photo: Matt LavinPoa pratensis Kentucky bluegrassPositionSpeciesWIScanopy coverDPoa pratensisFACU33%Objective: VegetationNext: Diversity Indices and chart19Objective: Vegetation</p> <p>There was little variation between the two. As can be seen, the C position had the highest diversity. The A had the lowest.</p> <p>Next: % cover by WIS20Objective: SoilsResults showed positions closer to the lake where wicking is driven by evaporation and salts are subsequently precipitated on the surface. Moving away from the lake, salts have less influence on soil salinity, but are still a factor.</p> <p>Next: Depth Weighted EC vs. Position</p> <p>21Objectives</p> <p>5) Compare vegetation characteristics with abiotic conditions and use data to help refuge managers determine revegetation strategies for soil stabilizationSynthesize Vegetation Characteristics and Abiotic ConditionThese relationships were analyzed in order to assist land managers in understanding what revegetation solutions may be most feasible at Hailstone.</p> <p>Next: All parameters22VEGETATIONLANDSCAPEHYDROLOGYSOILSECN-P-K% OMSaturation Depth% Canopy CoverSpecies TypePoint Elevation &amp; Distance to Water SurfaceObjective: Synthesisthis model served to identify the associations between the abiotic factors that were found with various species within their respective positions. Arrows indicate predominant energy flow paths and influences on the landscape scale. These factors were both influenced by and influential depending on their environmental role on the landscape.</p> <p>Next: Common plants distribution by position23Summary of Observations</p> <p> Banded vegetation patterns are representative of unique abiotic conditions at Hailstone.</p> <p> Soil salinity and saturation are closely linked based on position from water (lake or swale) and depth.</p> <p> An environmental gradient exists where salinity and soil saturation values are highest closer to the lake and lowest in the upland positions.Next: Recommendations</p> <p>24Recommendations</p> <p> Build a revegetation model based on observational data, field scale seeding and planting trials, and soils and hydrologic data from the newly exposed lake bed.</p> <p> Organize areas on the landscape into planting zones based on elevation, hydrology and soil salinity. Choose a variety of species and forms (seed, plugs and transplants) most suited for the conditions within each zone. </p> <p>Some species (Distichlis spicata) may find optimal growing conditions in more than one zone and should be used for overlapping zone types.</p> <p>Next: Survey points</p> <p>25</p> <p>Objective: SynthesisFor example, using just one physical parameter, elevationTopographic and bathymetric surveys conducted by Ducks Unlimited were analyzed for potential use in elevation modeling. As a preliminary modeling tool, they provide useful information that can be used prior to accessibility to the lake bed. The brown survey points are high elevation and light grey points are low relative elevation.</p> <p>Next: Zonation planting map27</p> <p>This is an example of a planting map made up of three zones. Each zone is based on elevation from the water, but should be refined to include soil saturation and salinity. In areas of higher stream energy, S. rubra may not be as good as Puccinnellia and observations suggest that Rubra may help facilitate the growth of other species on the extreme end of the environmental gradient. All zones are likely to be saline, so any species not suited for high salinity (KY bluegrass) would be avoided. Species such as saltgrass and some wheatgrasses may be appropriate.28</p> <p>The question iswhich plants could survive in this harsh environment by the highly saline waterline? Is it the annual succulent and sort of delicate S. rubra or tall Obligate graminoid Puccinellia (alkaligrass) that can outcompete the shorter statured neighbors? </p> <p>Triglochin that can emerge from standing water, but produces prussic acid a strong phytotoxin.</p> <p>Next: D. spicata29</p> <p>What about on this moonscape, where there maybe some water available but not enough to support wetland type plants? This condition will likely encompass the vast majority of exposed lakebed. One possibility is D. spicata/ inland saltgrass. At Owens lake in CA, huge volumes are being grown for lakebed stabilization and its ability to survive in tight soils, extreme drought and as shown at Hailstone, some tolerance for wet / anoxia.</p> <p>Next: Summary30</p> <p>2010 Harvested Puccinellia On Site using the Arbuckle Native Seedster</p> <p>Seedster Combs, Brushes, and Air to Harvest Seed No Plant Damage</p> <p>Harvested 125 Lbs. Puccinellia Enough for 500 acres</p> <p>Seeded November 2010</p> <p>Secret Ingredient</p> <p>Hmmm.I wonder if theres any secret ingredients in this truck</p> <p>What the heck am I doing out here?</p> <p>Inland saltgrass - Distichlis spicata established</p> <p>41</p> <p>Suaeda calceoliformis var. erectaEstablishing behind snow fence</p> <p>~Questions~</p>