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    Canebrakes are dense stands of Arundinaria gigantea (Walt.) Muhl. that covered large areas of the southeastern North America. With agricultural development, canebrakes were quickly converted to crop and pastureland and now occur only in small, isolated patches. There is growing interest in the use of A. gigantea and other temperate bamboo species in riparian and floodplain revegetation in North America, but lack of detailed information on propagation and management of woody perennial grasses hinders reestablishment activities. Our study assesses the influence of nutrient and woodchip mulch amendments on survival and growth of A. gigantea transplanted as part of a riparian restoration project in central Kentucky. After two growing seasons, culm number (aboveground stems) increased 4-fold and extent of transplanted clumps expanded 26-fold. The survival rate of transplanted cane clumps was 98%. Hardwood chip mulch significantly increased the emergence of new culms, culm height growth, and clump area. Composted manure, applied at a rate that contributed a similar mass of organic matter as the hardwood mulch, also significantly increased new culm number and clump area. Our findings demonstrate that addition of manure or hardwood mulch can significantly enhance aboveground production of A. gigantea transplants. However, survival and initial growth of untreated clumps were also adequate in this study. It appears that careful site selection, transplantation, and site maintenance may be sufficient to ensure A. gigantea establishment on many sites. Practitioners should assess soil drainage, water stress, and fertility along with herbaceous competition and incidence of overbank flooding before determining the necessity of organic amendments to supplement establishment of A. gigantea or other woody grasses for riparian restoration.

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    Dattilo, Adam J.; Rhoades, Charles C. 2005. Establishment of the woody grass Arundinaria gigantea for riparian restoration. Restoration Ecology. 13(4): 616-622.


    bamboo, buffer zone, canebrake, filter strip, floodplain forest, giant cane, organic and inorganic fertilizer, wood chip mulch

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