Esther Lucassen, Piet-Jan Westendorp, Evi Bohnen-Verbaarschot, Moni Poelen & Alfons Smolders

Rietontwikkeling, waterpeil, donormateriaal, vraat

Guiding factors in the development of reed marshes

 reed development, water table, donor material, grazing

A field experiment was carried out in Park Lingezegen (the Netherlands) to test the (interactive) effects of grazing, the type of donor material applied (seeds, seedlings, stolons) and the water table (-10 cm to +30 cm) on the success in developing reed marshes on bare clayground. The results show that grazing by geese (occurring above a water table of -5cm) was the most important factor hampering development of reed marsh, independent on the type of donor material applied. Application of seeds seemed to be a very unsuccessful method as germination and early development of seedlings only took place at a water table in between -7 and -10 cm. In addition, plants developing from seeds hardly grew
and did not expand or produce seeds at least during the first three growing seasons. In the deeper parts, where Typha latifolia could germinate (water table > 7cm), this led to the unwanted development of a Typha marsh. Reed marsh could develop over the full hydrological gradient following application of seedlings and stolons. In both cases this was most successful above a water table of +5cm. Plants developing from stolons produced more below and above ground biomass, expanded faster and developed seeds quicker as compared to plants developing from seedlings. Thus, reed marsh development on bare clay grounds will be most successful following application of stolons above a water table of +5cm in a situation without grazing possibilities.