Sprigging Arctophila fulva into flooded areas


Gravel excavation and thermokarst create open-water habitats.


Arctophila fulva is an important emergent grass.


Sprigs may be taken from nearby stands and planted on 5 to 30 cm centers along transects perpendicular to the pond edge.


Plant roots at stem nodes and does not require rooted shoots.


Phosphorus fertilizer is used; how long it needs to be re-applied is not known, but most restored sites in the Arctic lose biomass when fertilizer is stopped.




Using indigenous species on overburden and gravel


Two exploration wells on the North Slope resulted in pits being excavated; they were subsequently re-filled.


Local, indigenous seed was harvested by hand and sown, then fertilized.  Descurainia sophioides provided quick cover.  Puccinellia borealis was an important vegetation component.


Puccinellia borealis will persist on habitats unsuited for other tundra species (drilling mud and saline soil), and can be field grown outside the Arctic and returned for restoration.



Use of native willows to control erosion on slopes of gravel fill.


570 cuttings of three common species of native willows (Salix alaxensis, S. lanata and S. glauca) were harvested from populations on the Colville River delta.


Willows were transplanted onto a slope that had been seeded with four grasses (Deschampsia  caespitosa, Poa glauca, Arctagrostis latifolia and Festuca rubra) and a legume (Astragalus alpinus).


Cuttings were less than 0.5 meters long and were buried so that 90% of the stems were below ground.


Stem cuttings were inoculated with mycorrhizae by dipping cut stems into a soil/water slurry made with soil from the site.


After 50 days, 389 stems were alive.


Legumes are expected to provide nitrogen for the willows and grasses.



Subarctic saltmarsh restoration


Massive grazing by lesser Snow geese in La Pérouse Bay, Manitoba, led to loss of saltmarsh vegetation (Puccinellia phryganodes and Carex subspathacea).


Removal of vegetation has also resulted in increased soil salinity.


Plugs of the grass and sedge were transplanted into denuded areas.


Some plots were treated with fertilizer and peat mulch.


P. phryganodes established in the degraded sediment; the soil amendments improved its growth.


C. subspathacea did not establish well and soil amendments did not help.



High Arctic restoration


In a sloping sedge/moss meadow on Truelove Lowlands of Devon Island, Carex aquatilis v. stans was the dominant species, with Eriophorum angustifolium as an important associate species.


Few wet meadow species produce seeds in such extreme tundra environments, so transplanted plants and moss sods were used.


Clonal transplants of C. aquatilis were planted into old vehicle ruts and left unfertilized.


After 20 years, Carex cover was less in ruts with flowing water than in ruts with standing water.


Eriophorum came back in planted and planted + sod ruts, but was still less than in nearby controls.


Plant cover in ruts was still less than in controls.


Another Eriophorum species showed up where moss sod had been placed.



Restoration on dry sites


Sites such as drill pads, roads and gravel pits have minimal soil development.


They are elevated and well drained, therefore dry.


Colonization is dependent upon seed rain, but surrounding mesic or wet tundra sites have species that are not adapted for dry sites.


Sowing seeds or transplanting are critical, and provide favorable microsites for germination (large stones, which will shade soil and reduce evaporation).


Sow nitrogen-fixers (Dryas drummondii, legumes).



Tussock tundra that has been bladed.


If some organic material remains, leave it.


The organic mat in tussock tundra contains a seed bank and living belowground stems.


If some mat survives, site will recover in 50-100 years.


This is much faster than primary succession.


Do not sow competitors.