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Using Seeds to Propagate and Restore Vallisneria americana Michaux (Wild Celery) in the Chesapeake Bay

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Technical note

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Loss of submerged aquatic vegetation SAV has been significant in many coastal and estuarine systems such as the Chesapeake Bay where SAV die-offs have been observed in marine, brackish, and freshwater SAV communities Orth and Moore 1983. Large-scale replanting using whole plants can be cost prohibitive, and the use of plants taken from wild populations for propagule supply may not be possible or desirable. The use of SAV seeds for restoration has been increasingly demonstrated to be an effective method for replanting large areas of bottom, especially for marine species such as eelgrass, Zostera marina Pickerell et al. 2005 Orth et al. 1994, 2006 Granger et al. 2002. Only more recently have techniques been developed to use seeds in the restoration of some brackish and freshwater SAV species Ailstock and Shafer 2004, 2006. The commercial production of freshwater SAV for waterfowl habitat has been ongoing for many years in the Midwest and northern prairie regions. However, propagation has for the most part used over-wintering buds or tubers, and costs associated with these methods are high Korschgen and Green 1988. Although a great deal of research has been conducted on freshwater and brackish SAV, much is still unknown as to the factors affecting the utility of seeds of species such as Vallisneria americana Michaux as an option for SAV restoration, especially in tidal, estuarine habitats. This technical note reviews the results of studies investigating the use of seeds of V. americana for restoration in the Chesapeake Bay, including aspects of the collection, storage, germination, and seedling growth. The goal is to improve restoration success of this species.

Subject Categories:

  • Biology
  • Food, Food Service and Nutrition
  • Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology

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