Evaluating Establishment of Native Rhizomatous Grass Species for Reclaiming Sites in Southern Alberta with Limited Topsoil

Thumbnail Image
McGregor, Laura Elizabeth
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Guelph

Anthropogenic disturbances to Alberta’s landscape have resulted in the widespread removal of indigenous plant communities. Steep slopes and limited topsoil are often barriers when trying to reestablish vegetation; however, native rhizomatous grass species have a number of traits that make them ideally suited to revegetate challenging sites. A field study evaluated the establishment of three species of native perennial rhizomatous grasses (Calamagrostis canadensis, Calamovilfa longifolia, and Hierochloe odorata) from three propagation methods. Initial results suggest that these species were able to establish and survive on these sites despite poor soil conditions. Establishment was poor in seeded plots (24.1%), but improved with root cuttings (75.9%) and nursery-grown plugs (96.3%). The use of vegetative establishment methods could increase the successful application of native grass species, and encourage their use in landscape design and restoration projects.

Calamagrostis canadensis, Calamovilfa longifolia, Hierochloe odorata, reclamation, rhizomes, cost analysis, propagation method, establishment, prairie, landscape architecture