Factors affecting the establishment of Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (C.C. Gmel.) Palla in urban lakeshore restorations

D. A. Vanderbosch, S. M. Galatowitsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Despite their central role in lakeshore restoration, most littoral wetland plantings fail. The reasons for these failures are poorly understood, in part due to limited information on the effects of planting time, water depth, and propagation on the survival of emergent macrophyte plantings. We planted pots and prevegetated mats of softstem bulrush (Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (C. C. Gmel.) Palla) at two different water depths (0-30 and 31-60 cm) in five lakes each month between May and September 2006 to evaluate the effects of planting month, water depth, and transplant type on the survival of planted S. tabernaemontani. Overall survival decreased from 73% at 30 days after planting to 40% pre-winter to 15% post-winter. The timing of planting was the most important factor influencing bulrush survival. Survival of bulrush planted later in the growing season is poor, regardless of the transplant type used, and should be avoided. During the optimal planting season of early-to-mid summer, transplants from pots are more likely to outperform mats, despite lower pre-planting biomass. Water depth is only important immediately after planting, after which time, its influence on successful establishment diminishes. Overall, our research indicated that key choices made by the practitioner can improve the likelihood that transplants establish in littoral wetland restorations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalWetlands Ecology and Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Geological Survey. We would like to thank John Hiebert, Neil Vanderbosch, and Bill Bartodziej for their invaluable support, and unique insights that contributed to the design of the project. Many thanks also to Derrin Eaton, Ross Banswarth, Joel Stiras, Tim Ohlman, Basil Iannone, and Jennifer Doriott, who provided field assistance. Dr. Sanford Weisberg, Aaron Rendahl and Sai Okabayashi, U of M Department of Statistics, assisted with data analysis. Bruce Vondracek, Ray Newman, Rachel Budelsky, and two anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments that improved the manuscript.


  • Emergent aquatic macrophytes
  • Littoral wetlands
  • Minnesota
  • Revegetation
  • Transplant


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