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Managing the Weed-Shaped Hole: Improving Nitrogen Uptake and Preventing Re-invasion in Urban Riparian Restoration

By Nathan Bickart


As the field of ecological restoration grows, novel methods to improve the effectiveness of restoration projects are being advanced and tested. Here, measured plant functional traits are used to select a native planting palette for the restoration of riparian habitat at Strawberry Creek, a heavily invaded urban ecosystem in Berkeley, CA. I partnered with an active restoration program and together we focused on methods to prevent re-invasion by a dominant non-native understory species and reduce nitrogen pollution of the riparian ecosystem. uptake study revealed a marginally significant (0.05<p<0.10) result suggesting that shrubs may be more proficient at taking up nitrogen, though further research is needed to clarify this finding. This work points to the potential benefits that ecosystem science research and on-the-ground restoration efforts can offer one another

Topics: restoration ecology, invasive species control, trait-based filtering, limiting similarity, stable isotope tracer analysis, native plants, riparian restoration, Strawberry Creek, nitrogen pollution, volunteer-based restoration
Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
Year: 2013
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