Distribution of species being planted in upland sites (orange), bottom sites (yellow), and woody riparian species planted in both (white) at the base of and atop the riprap.

 

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Wetland and riparian species are being planted on moist bottomland sites, while desert shrubs are going into the arid uplands. Some woody riparian species form the transition between the two environments and are so being planted both at the base of the riprap, and just above it. The main contributions from the Lake Mead Nursery are wetland and riparian species. One of the interesting things about our involvement in this project has been the variety of species we have had the opportunity to work with.

An encouraging discovery is that planted Seepwillow has been seeding and spreading in the Wash just like it has in landscaping. In the photo below it can be seen colonizing a sandbar along with Saltcedar in the spring, after winter floods. In this case however the Seepwillow is not a weed. In fact, depending upon how well it competes with Saltcedar it can be considered one of the first signs of establishing a self-sufficient native plant community well suited to the site. That will be the key to progress in the Wash, as to be truly successful, the vegetation being planted must not just survive, it needs to be self perpetuating.

Self-seeded Seepwillow colonizing a sandbar along with Saltcedar

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Bottom planted fall 2003 (Photo May 2005)

 

Upland planted fall 2004 (Photo October 2005)

 

Bottom planted fall 2004 (Photo May 2005)