Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Reclamation: Evaluating Autumn Olive Control Strategies at The Wilds Conservation Center, Cumberland, Ohio Shana Byrd*, Director, Restoration."— Presentation transcript:
1Sustainable Reclamation: Evaluating Autumn Olive Control Strategies at The Wilds Conservation Center, Cumberland, OhioShana Byrd*, Director, Restoration Ecology Program, The WildsNicole Cavender, VP Science & Conservation, The Morton ArboretumCorine Peugh, Assistant, Restoration Ecology Program, The WildsJenise Bauman, Director, Conservation Science Training, The Wilds
2History:Nearly 10,000 acres of reclaimed surface-mine land in southeastern OhioAEP donated land in 1984Non-profit, opened to public in 1994Today, this landserves as a conservationresearch and education center100,000 visitor annuallythe Wilds
3the Wilds MissionAdvancing Conservation Through Science, Education, and Personal Experience
4During Mining Operations The Wilds LandscapeDuring Mining OperationsThe Big Muskie
5Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) Utilized in reclamation (ODNR 1983) to reduce erosion and improve nitrogen content of the soilHas since invaded open pastures, thereby reducing quality of cool-season grasslands for obligate birds, such as the Henslow’s Sparrow and other wildlife species.Conversion alters the function of these habitats by interrupting the open space with woody vegetation that may increase chances for nest predation (Swanson 1996).Control measures are difficult, due to abundant seed production and aggressive re-sprouting.Superior competitor (has done it’s job a little too well)…5
7And this is what The Wilds landscape looks like today…and when most people see the landscape they don’t consider the long term implications mining had on these areas. Part of our mission is to help convey some of the environmental lessons learned through these processes.
8Southern White Rhinoceros Bactrian Camels & Grevy’s Zebra CheetahSouthern White RhinocerosSichuan TakinToday this area is home to roughly 30 species of rare and endangered animals from Africa, Asia and North America- not to mention the hundreds of indigenous species that have taken refuge. This provides a unique opportunity for a variety of sensitive species in need of conservation and is uniquely suited as biological land lab that provides an ideal setting for the study of how wildlife are currently use these habitats- and what improvements can be made, in order to maximize overall biodiversity. I can’t possibly cover all aspects of the wilds, we also serve as an ecotourism destitnation and a research and education facility centered in Wildlife fromBactrian Camels & Grevy’s ZebraElandSable AntelopeIdeal setting for studying how wildlife are currently using the habitat and how we can improve it to benefit these populations.
9Restore Ecosystem Functions & Biodiversity Goals of the Wilds Restoration Ecology Program:increase biodiversity on a landscape scalecreate habitat that is more beneficial for wildlifestudy & facilitate the process of recoveryEco - Opportunities:Habitat ConservationWetland FunctionCarbon CapturePollination
10Conservation Centers for Species Survival A dedicated collaboration applying unique resources to the study, management and survival of endangered species.the Wilds - OhioFossil Rim Wildlife Center - TexasSan Diego Zoo Global – CaliforniaWhite Oak Conservation Center - FloridaSmithsonian Conservation Biology Institute - VirginiaC2S2 Collaborative Study Focus:Managing Landscapes for Native BiodiversityThe Wilds Study Goal:Remove autumn olive to improve habitat for imperiled grassland nesting birds
11Field Trials: Project Background Objective:Test effectiveness of removals in varying degrees of infestationShare techniques with land managers to assist in creating healthier habitats for species in need of conservation (grassland obligates)Five different techniques were explored in a two phase field trialPhase 1 – ( ) Received NFWF Project Funding –Evaluate Methods:Foliar herbicide applicationsMechanical removalDormant stem herbicide applicationsModerate Cover ranging from 15-30%
12Field Trials: Project Background Phase 2 - ( ) Received NRCS / EPA SWIF Project Funding –Evaluate Methods:Mechanical land clearing combined with chemical treatment:Fracture (herbicide re-sprout only)Cut stump (immediate herbicide)Dense Cover ranging from %
13Project Set Up: Phase 1 May 2007 Established 12 permanent plots (each about 10 acres in size) with interior vegetation survey plotsAmong the plots, three replications of each treatment and a control group were designated.
14Project Set Up: Phase 1 Prior to treatment: GPS location data and metal marker tags were recorded for 25 random individual shrubs per plot.Total of 225 individuals tracked.
15Foliar Herbicide Treatment August 2007PRODUCTArsenal Powerline Escort XP Surf Plus 584 MSOMist Trol 336CHEMICAL NAME(27.6% imazapyr isopropylamine salt)(60% metsulfuron methyl)(Surfactant)(Drift Retardant)RATE16oz / 100 gal2oz / 100 gal4oz / 100 galCost = $741 per hectare ($300 ac)
19Dormant Herbicide Treatment February 2008PRODUCTStalkerGarlon 4Invade 90AX-IT oilMist Trol 336CHEMICAL(27.6% imazapyr isopropylamine salt)(61.6% triclopyr: 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyloxyacetic acid)(Surfactant)(Carrying Oil)(Drift Retardant)RATE16oz / 100 gal1.5gal / 100 gal1gal / 100 gal2.5gal / 100 galas needed / 100 galBoth herbicide applications were completed utilizing a two-person crew and a 300 gal trailer sprayer unit with handgun attachment. The dormant stem treatments were completed in February, 2008 using the following product concentration: Garlon 4 at 1.5 %, Stalker at 0.12%, Invade 90 at 1%, Axit Oil (surfactant) at 0.03% and Mist Trol 336 (drift retardant) at 0.03%.Cost = $741 per hectare ($300 ac)
20Temporary FootprintBoth dormant (winter) and foliar (summer) herbicide applications were applied with a 300 gal sprayer unit using a handgun nozzle.Photo Credit: Mitch Kezar, Courtesy BASF
21Results Foliar herbicide: 98 % Dormant stem herbicide: 71 % August 2009 – Evaluated Individual ShrubsComparison of mechanical, foliar and dormant stem herbicide control methods on total % mortality of autumn oliveTreatment Total % MortalityFoliar herbicide: %Arsenal Powerline™Escort XP™Dormant stem herbicide: %Stalker™Garlon 4™Mechanical removal: %John Deer 3110 D backhoeNote: Percentages are based on total number of shrubs effectively killed.
22Phase 2 Treatments:Management: Dense Cover ranging from %Based on findings, phase 2 of this study initiated in 2010Evaluate combined mechanical & chemical treatments:cut stump w/ herbicidefracture w/ re-sprout spray only
23Mechanical Land Clearing: Cut stump herbicide & Fracture re-sprout herbicide Cut-stump (with herbicide treatment):GyroTrac GT-25 cutter headGround brush into fine mulch and left stumps flush with the ground.Removal was directly followed with a conservative application of a 3% concentrated solution of Stalker in penetrating oil base applied to the remaining stumps.Fracture (with re-sprout treatment only):Skid-steer driven Fecon Bullhog model BH74 SS armed with 30 single carbide tools on the drum headBrush was fractured at ground level and the splintered material was left to biodegrade.Herbicide treatment was reserved only for spot treatment of re-sprouts.
24Photo Point: Before & After Mechanical Land Clearing (fracture / re-sprout only) BeforeAfter
25Photo Point: Before & After Mechanical Land Clearing (fracture / re-sprout only)
26Results: Phase 2 trialHypothesis: cut stump treatment would provide most effective re-sprout control methodHowever, the cut stump treatment was less effective than the fracture method (46%, 63% mortality respectively). Why?Cut stump: resulted in smooth surface, may have effectively pruned shrub, stimulated re-growth?Fracture: resulted in damaged and coarse stump surface, may have induced stress or inhibited vegetative recovery?Further replicated studies are neededto determine long term control & effectiveness.Utimatey, both mechanical land clearing methods are effective at removing the above ground woody biomass of the shrubs in areas of dense cover*Both methods reduced initial quantity of herbicide applications, as compared to phase 1 (moderate cover).
27Cost comparison of Elaeagnus umbellata treatment by various methods Foliar herbicideDormant stem herbicideLand clearing: cut stump with herbicideLand clearing: fracture withRe-sprout herbicide only*Mechanical backhoe removal onlyCost /hectare$741$1,166$300*$167Time /2 hrs6.5 hrs1.25 hrs1.5 hrsLabor / hectare21% CoverPre-treatment15-30%95-100%*Note: Spot re-sprout (foliar) treatment will include additional costs of $50 per hour, as needed, which leaves cost variable.
28Insights: Autumn Olive Management Moderate cover*:Foliar herbicide (Arsenal/EscortXP) application is most effective methodVery effective…But, resource intensive (in dense cover) = large quantities of mixed productDormant stem application (Stalker/Garlon4) slightly less effective than the foliar treatmentMay allow selective treatment in “off season”Dense cover*:Mechanical land clearing offer greatest compromise where access with spray equipment is difficultAll techniques require follow up management (total control).
29Insights: Autumn Olive Management Table 1. Based on successful conversion of CSG pasture: Recommendations for reseeding hardy US native species to improve wildlife habitat value and diversity following invasive species removal in reclaimed mine lands.GrassAndropogon gerardiiBig BluestemForbAsclepias syriacaCommon MilkweedBidens cernuaBidensHelianthus maximilianiMaximilian SunflowerMonarda fistulosaWild BergamotPanicum virgatumSwitchgrassPycnanthemum virginianumVirginia MountainmintRatibida pinnataYellow ConeflowerRudbeckia hirtaBlackeyed SusanRudbeckia laciniataCutleaf ConeflowerRudbeckia subtomentosaSweet ConeflowerRudbeckia trilobaBrowneyed SusanSorghastrum nutansIndiangrassSymphyotrichum ericoidesWhite Heath AsterSymphyotrichum laeveSmooth Blue AsterSymphyotrichum novae-angliaeNew England AsterAll techniques resulted in soil disturbance, facilitating secondary non-native invasionsDemonstrating need for preemptive re-vegetation strategies on newly disturbed sitesHardy seed & stock, native to the US, may be well-adapted and provide appropriate wildlife habitatCase study underway to evaluate prairie species mix in post-removal cover
30Implications for Restoration To create sustainable landscapes, restoration plans should include planting native species that benefit local wildlife and increase biodiversity (regardless of end habitat target: forest, grassland, prairie, wetland).Management priorities and trajectory likely based on individual goals, expense, treatment timeline and the resources available to meet the restoration plan.When managed for long term conversion to more productive cover, reclaimed mine lands provide tremendous potential to serve as healthy habitat corridors for species in need of conservation.
31Conservation Centers for Species Survival (C2S2) AcknowledgementsConservation Centers for Species Survival (C2S2)National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA- NRCS)Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW)Ohio Environmental Protection Agency – SWIF Funds (OEPA)Muskingum College (Dr. Danny Ingold, Dr. Jim Dooley)Townsend Chemical (Greg Ressler)BASF, Project HabitatFDC Enterprises (Fred Circle)Sarbaugh Drilling (Elden Sarbaugh)Wilds Interns and Volunteers