2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October 3 November 2010)
Paper No. 249-15
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM

RESTORATION OF ARUNDINARIA GIGANTEA (RIVERCANE) TO THE OCONALUFTEE RIVER FLOODPLAIN, CHEROKEE, NC

GRIFFITH, Adam1, TANNER, Benjamin R.2, KINNER, David2, and YOUNG, Robert S.3, (1) Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Western Carolina University, 90 University Way, Belk Building Room 294, Cullowhee, NC 28723, agriffith@wcu.edu, (2) Geosciences & Natural Resources, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC 28723, (3) Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC 28723

Rivercane (Arundinaria gigantea) is a bamboo native to the United States. For millennia, Native American tribes of the southeastern US have used native rivercane for basketry and other purposes. Recent efforts by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) to revitalize traditional arts and crafts have resulted in major research effort into the ecology and restoration of cane. Starting in March, 2005, a GIS database of 45 local sites with plant characteristics such as height and diameter was developed and shared with EBCI planners. Successive research at 20 sites identified the variability of site and soil parameters controlling the distribution of rivercane in southwestern North Carolina. These parameters included soil bulk density, nutrient levels, saturated hydraulic conductivity, particle size, total CNS, pH, site area, elevation, slope, and associated species. One important conclusion of these studies is that, while rivercane is often listed as a wetland plant, in the areas studied, it is clearly not inhabiting hydric soils.

This information has been incorporated in the planning and establishment of pilot restoration plots of rivercane on tribal land at the campus of Cherokee Central Schools. To reduce the likelihood of hydric soil formation, the site elevation was raised 40-45 cm with a mixture of 40% sand, 40% top-soil, and 20% mulch. The 700 cubic meters of amended soil increases infiltration rate, reduces bulk density, and provides nutrients to the restored rivercane. Plants will be transplanted from nearby rivercane stands. Soil moisture levels and plant characteristics will be monitored jointly by students at Cherokee Central Schools and Western Carolina University, creating a unique opportunity for educational collaboration. Student researchers will maintain a shallow water table underneath an experimental plot within the transplant area to examine the hypothesis that rivercane does not grow well in wetland soils.

2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October 3 November 2010)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 249--Booth# 98
Hydrogeology (Posters)
Colorado Convention Center: Hall D
8:00 AM-6:00 PM, Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 42, No. 5, p. 593

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