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Restoration of an Alpine Disturbance: Differential Success of Species in Turf Transplants, Colorado, U.S.A.
David B. Conlin and James J. Ebersole
Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research
Vol. 33, No. 3 (Aug., 2001), pp. 340-347
Published by: INSTAAR, University of Colorado
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1552241
Page Count: 8
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Evaluating techniques for restoring alpine environments is important due to increasing human impacts on Colorado mountains. We studied restoration success after 1 yr on an alpine area disturbed by trampling at 3700 m a.s.l., Humboldt Peak, Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Colorado. This area was revegetated in summer 1997 by transplanting pieces of turf cut from a new trail. For both transplants and controls, 100 points were sampled in seventeen 70 × 70 cm plots. Vascular plant species richness did not differ between transplant and control plots. Thirtyone species showed absolute covers not significantly different between transplant and control plots, and twelve species had higher covers in control plots or showed a strong trend in that direction. Sums of covers of all species declined by 35% in transplant plots. Transplant and control plots had differential relative success of some important species as measured by relative cover although almost all differences were small. Grasses increased moderately and forbs declined by 9%. Relative cover of the dominant, Geum rossii, as well as two common graminoids, Carex phaeocephala and Trisetum spicatum, decreased in transplant plots. The forbs Polygonum bistortoides and Potentilla subjuga increased in relative cover in transplant plots; one of the dominant species, Carex elynoides, and many secondary species, were not different between treatments. Success in total cover and of almost all species after 1 yr indicates turf-transplants work well in this community and should be employed to restore other damaged alpine areas when feasible.
Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research © 2001 Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate, contracting on behalf of the University of Colorado at Boulder for the benefit of INSTAAR