Dr. Emily Wakild
In the Western United States, water preservation is becoming an increasing pertinent issue in the face of climate change. Beaver Dam Analogues (BDAs) are a tool utilized by land managers to assist in riparian and wetland restoration by physically altering stream hydrology. BDA installations imitate the effects of actual beaver dams, and help to mitigate stream incision, sediment transport, water quality, and flooding. As slower flows begin to form pools, the suitable area for riparian vegetation increases outward. With this increase in potential habitat from restoration projects, there is a risk for invasive plants species to succeed faster than native species. In southern Idaho, depending on the characteristics of the area, restored areas have the potential of being colonized by invasive terrestrial and aquatic plants including Russian Olive, (E. angustifolia), Cheatgrass (B. tectorum). The displacement of native species and a shift towards an invasive population can have many negative effects in relation to restoration goals. Our research examines journals and utilizes data from the Bureau of Reclamation over the past 20 years to quantify the cost associated with invasive management within restoration projects, and the potential for future problems.
Gage, Benjamin A.; Neill, Haley E.; Sass, Marlisa; Whittingon, Amy; and Wakild, Emily, "Invasive Plant Species Succession in Riparian Areas Post Installation of Beaver Dam Analogues on Streams in Southern Idaho" (2020). 2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase. 130.