Growth and survivorship of Fremont cottonwood, Goodding willow, and salt cedar seedlings after large floods in central Arizona

Juliet Stromberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During winter 1993, Arizona experienced regional river flooding. Floodwaters at the Hassayampa River eroded floodplains and created a 50-m-wide scour zone available for colonization by pioneer plant species. The slow rate and long duration of the floodwater recession allowed establishment of spring-germinating native trees (mainly Fremont cottonwood [Populus fremontii] and Goodding willow [Salix gooddingii] as well as summer-germinating species including the introduced salt cedar (Tamarix chinensis and related species). Goodding willow and Fremont cottonwood seedlings showed zonation in the floodplain, while salt cedar was equally abundant in zones with saturated and dry surface soils. Floodplain elevation (and soil moisture) influenced shoot growth rate to different degrees among the 3 species. For example, Goodding willow seedlings were significantly taller in areas with saturated soils than dry surface soils; Fremont cottonwoods were taller in the dry surface soil areas; and salt cedar were equally short in both soil moisture zones. Other factors that differentially influenced abundance or growth rates included competition with herbaceous species (Melilotus spp., an introduced plant, locally preempted salt cedar establishment) and herbivory (selective browsing by livestock at 1 river site reduced the natural height advantage of the native tree species). I draw on the results of this descriptive field study to suggest ways in which stream flows and floodplain land use can be managed to restore ecological conditions that favor native tree species over the introduced and widespread salt cedar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-208
Number of pages11
JournalGreat Basin Naturalist
Volume57
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1997

Fingerprint

Populus fremontii
Salix
Populus
Tamarix
survivorship
Seedlings
Soil
Salts
survival rate
floodplains
seedling
salt
seedlings
floodplain
Growth
Rivers
Introduced Species
soil surface
rivers
soil

Keywords

  • Floods
  • Populus fremontii
  • Riparian habitats
  • Salix gooddingii
  • Tamarix chinensis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Growth and survivorship of Fremont cottonwood, Goodding willow, and salt cedar seedlings after large floods in central Arizona. / Stromberg, Juliet.

In: Great Basin Naturalist, Vol. 57, No. 3, 07.1997, p. 198-208.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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