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Revegetation - Plant Materials

General Plant Materials

  • Abstract:  Throughout the world, the condition of many riparian ecosystems has declined due to numerous factors, including encroachment of non-native species. In the western United States, millions of dollars are spent annually to control invasions of Tamarix spp., introduced small trees or shrubs from Eurasia that have colonized bottomland ecosystems along many rivers. Resource managers seek to control Tamarix in attempts to meet various objectives, such as increasing water yield and improving wildlife habitat. Often, riparian restoration is an implicit goal, but there has been little emphasis on a process or principles to effectively plan restoration activities, and many Tamarix removal projects are unsuccessful at restoring native vegetation. We propose and summarize the key steps in a planning process aimed at developing effective restoration projects in Tamarix-dominated areas. We discuss in greater detail the biotic and abiotic factors central to the evaluation of potential restoration sites and summarize information about plant communities likely to replace Tamarix under various conditions. Although many projects begin with implementation, which includes the actual removal of Tamarix, we stress the importance of pre-project planning that includes: (1) clearly identifying project goals; (2) developing realistic project objectives based on a detailed evaluation of site conditions; (3) prioritizing and selecting Tamarix control sites with the best chance of ecological recovery; and (4) developing a detailed tactical plan before Tamarix is removed. After removal, monitoring and maintenance as part of an adaptive management approach are crucial for evaluating project success and determining the most effective methods for restoring these challenging sites.

  • This website, which is sponsored by the Colorado Native Plant Master Program, is designed to help people find research-based information about plants that grow in the wilds of Colorado. Plants can be searched for by name, specific characteristics, and blooming season. 

  • This 57-page guide from the Salt Lake County Watershed Planning & Restoration Program  explores the basics of protecting water quality, streamside habitat, and property values. While written for the Salt Lake area, the information contained in this guide is applicable to a wide range of landowners. 

    In this guide you’ll find out how you and your neighbors can:

    • Prevent or minimize erosion problems
    • Avoid flood losses
    • Protect property values
    • Preserve water quality
    • Contribute to the survival of fish and wildlife
  • This document describes the Native Plant Materials Policy adopted by the United States Forest Service in 2008. A Strategic Framework for implementing the Policy is detailed. 

  • This Natural Resources Conservation Service Technical Note provides information on: characterization of saline and sodic soils;effect of salinity on plants; management of salinity problems; planting in saline-sodic soils;and species selection for salt affected areas.
  • While focused on Victoria, Australia, this guide provides any restoration practitioner with helpful information on highly efficient and cost effective revegetation methods. This publication aims to provide the practical 'know how' to help carry out your revegetation from start to finish. Section A covers the steps involved in a revegetation program, from planning and preparation to monitoring.
  • Written by 44 of the field's most prominent scholars and scientists, this volume compiles 25 essays on tamarisk--its biology, ecology, politics, management, and the ethical issues involved with designating a particular species as "good" or "bad". The book analyzes the controversy surrounding tamarisk's role in our ecosystems and what should be done about it.


  • The Nursery Manual for Native Plants - A Guide for Tribal Nurseries covers all aspects of managing a native plant nursery, from initial planning through crop production to establishing trials to improve nursery productivity into the future. 

  • This document presents a snapshot of work to restore and protect riparian buffers in the United States. Two types of information are provided: 1.) a summary of the results of a short, national survey of organizations involved in riparian buffer restoration and 2.) a selection of case studies documenting projects in various watershed situations.
  • This video details other considerations that should be taken into account during a restoration project including: groundwater well installation, soil testing, and protection from herbivory. This video was funded by the Walton Family Foundation. 

  • The efforts to control invasive tree species and revegetate riparian areas along New Mexico’s rivers and streams have led to important “lessons learned” based on both successful and failed projects. The information in this technical note is intended to concisely address the concerns that you should consider when planning and developing riparian revegetation projects.

  • Section B of Australian RevegetationTechniques outlines the different techniques available to direct seed or plant seedlings. Natural regeneration, mechanical and hand methods are covered. Section B will also assist you to choose the technique or techniques most suitable for your site and purposes.
  • Bioengineering practices provide resiliency for streambanks, enhance wildlife habitat, enhance organic matter inputs to streams, improve water quality, increase floodplain roughness, and heighten landscape aesthetics so important to countless residents, visitors, and businesses. Accordingly, the authors have created the following manuscript to:
    • Provide guidelines for a comprehensive bioengineering strategy;
    • Incorporate design elements that impart site stability and resilience;
    • Include project recommendations that minimize risk during periods of vulnerability;
    • Increase understanding of how to properly apply bioengineering and revegetation techniques;
    • Provide background resources on the combined forces of water and gravity as they pertain to bioengineered structures; and
    • Create a searchable Revegetation Matrix for the primary native restoration species useful for flood recovery and other riparian areas throughout Colorado.
  • The purpose of this beautifully illustrated guide is to cultivate awareness of native riparian vegetation and appreciation for its role in proper riparian function. 

  • This publication from Weld County provides photos of native annual plant species commonly misidentified. 

  • The Native Plant YellowPages includes a list of vendors carrying ecotypic (i.e., locally adapted) native plants for flood-recovery, in the form of seed and container stock, as well as a comprehensive list of seed vendors and nurseries who sell native plants for Colorado.

  • This video demonstrates how to properly install containerized plant materials at a restoration site. The type of container selected for your particular site should be based on your site access, access to water, soil conditions and available equipment. This video was funded by the Walton Family Foundation. 

  • AL Henry et al. 2021

    Abstract: Invasive species are a major cause of biodiversity loss worldwide, but their impact on communities and the mechanisms driving those impacts are varied and not well understood. This study employs functional diversity metrics and guilds—suites of species with similar traits—to assess the influence of an invasive tree (Tamarix spp.) on riparian plant communities in the southwestern United States. We asked: (1) What traits define riparian plant guilds in this system? (2) How do the abundances of guilds vary along gradients of Tamarix cover and abiotic conditions? (3) How does the functional diversity of the plant community respond to the gradients of Tamarix cover and abiotic conditions? We found nine distinct guilds primarily defined by reproductive strategy, as well as growth form, height, seed weight, specific leaf area, drought and anaerobic tolerance. Guild abundance varied along a covarying gradient of local and regional environmental factors and Tamarix cover. Guilds relying on sexual reproduction, in particular, those producing many light seeds over a long period of time were more strongly associated with drier sites and higher Tamarix cover. Tamarix itself appeared to facilitate more shade-tolerant species with higher specific leaf areas than would be expected in resource-poor environments. Additionally, we found a high degree of specialization (low functional diversity) in the wettest, most flood-prone, lowest Tamarix  cover sites as well as in the driest, most stable, highest Tamarix cover sites. These guilds can be used to anticipate plant community response to restoration efforts and in selecting appropriate species for revegetation.

    Evaluating Sod Mats as an Alternative to Plugs in Wetland Revegetation
    Susan Sherrod1*
    1Biohabitats, Denver, CO, USA;
    The City of Fort Collins (CO) Natural Areas Department used custom-grown wetland sod mats largely in place of herbaceous plugs to revegetate a newly constructed wetland at Gadwall Pond (Kingfisher Point Natural Area). Wetland sod mats are constructed from two layers of coconut fiber matting as a growth substrate for herbaceous wetland plants. The hypotheses underlying the preferential use of sod mats for revegetation at Gadwall Pond was that the mat-rooted vegetation would be more resistant to herbivory than plugs, which are easily pulled out by waterfowl, and the higher cost per unit area would be offset by more efficient installation, faster establishment from higher growth rates, and no need for protective fencing. Moreover, the City had locally collected seed that could be used for the custom grow and ensured that the mats would represent local ecotypes. Seed from graminoids and forbs was delivered, processed, and grown over the course of ~9 months. Forb mats were experimental. All mats were delivered and installed in the late summer of 2018. Within a few days of installation, it was clear that wetland sod mats cannot withstand the high herbivory pressure at Gadwall Pond. Even the coconut fiber matting was torn apart in some areas. Protective fencing was quickly installed to protect the vegetation. The sod mats have cost more than installing plugs over the same area, but advantages in establishment success and near-term biomass gains are still being evaluated. 
  • This document describes the biology and management implications of reed canary grass, a rhizomatous perennial grass that is currently found in all but six of the lower 48 states.  

  • This site allows users to enter their zip code to view a list of the best plants for birds in their area, as well as local resources and links to more information. 

  • This groundbreaking new publication from the Society for Ecological Restoration provides updated and expanded guidance on the practice of ecological restoration, clarifies the breadth of ecological restoration and allied environmental repair activities, and includes ideas and input from a diverse international group of restoration scientists and practitioners.

  • Karen Schlatter gives an Update on The Vegetation Response to Environmental Flows and Restoration Treatments in the Colorado River Delta at TC's 2016 Annual Conference. 

  • Many people have an interest in landscaping with native plants, and the purpose of this booklet is to help people make the most successful choices, based on their location in Colorado. 

  • The purpose of the Stream Stewardship and Recovery Handbook is to create an educational resource for private landowners to better understand their streamside properties in the context of the larger watershed, what they can do to practice good stream stewardship and when/how they should engage outside help for stewardship or recovery projects.

  • A well-designed revegetation plan is a foundational component of a successful stream restoration project. It helps to ensure the establishment and long-term viability of a healthy riparian corridor, which is critical to stream ecology and stream structure. This technical guidance document provides information and recommendations on:
    • Important elements to consider when developing a revegetation plan for a stream restoration project
    • Construction specifications within revegetation plans
    • Items to address during and after construction

Revegetation - Plant Materials

Plant Identification


Cottonwood and Willow Pole Planting

Longstems and Tallpot Plantings

Pollinator Plants

  • The purpose of this Technical Note is to provide guidance for the design and implementation of conservation plantings to enhance habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects including: bees, wasps, butterflies, moths and hummingbirds. Plant species included in this document are adapted to the Colorado Plateau of eastern Utah and western Colorado to the Continental Divide

  • The purpose of this Technical Note is to provide guidance for the design and implementation of conservation plantings to enhance habitat for pollinators including: bees, wasps, butterflies, moths and hummingbirds. Plant species included in this document are adapted to the Intermountain West; encompassing southern Idaho, eastern Oregon, northern Nevada and northern Utah.

  • The scope of this document includes:
    • An overview of milkweed biology and ecology.
    • Descriptions of milkweeds’ role in supporting monarchs, bees, and other beneficial insects.
    • Guidelines on milkweed propagation and seed production, from seed germination through seed harvesting and processing.
    • Profiles of milkweed specialist insects that may present challenges to commercial growers.
    • A compendium of known milkweed diseases.
    • Advice on including milkweeds in habitat restoration efforts.
    • Information on which milkweed species are commercially available and appropriate for planting 
    on a regional basis.
  • Interest in bees has grown dramatically in recent years in light of several studies that have reported widespread declines in bees and other pollinators. Investigating declines in wild bees can be difficult, however, due to the lack of faunal surveys that provide baseline data of bee richness and diversity. Protected lands such as national monuments and national parks can provide unique opportunities to learn about and monitor bee populations dynamics in a natural setting because the opportunity for large-scale changes to the landscape are reduced compared to unprotected lands. Here we report on a 4-year study of bees in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM), found in southern Utah, USA. Using opportunistic collecting and a series of standardized plots, we collected bees throughout the six-month flowering season for four consecutive years. In total, 660 bee species are now known from the area, across 55 genera, and including 49 new species. Two genera not previously known to occur in the state of Utah were discovered, as well as 16 new species records for the state. Bees include ground-nesters, cavity- and twig-nesters, cleptoparasites, narrow specialists, generalists, solitary, and social species. The bee fauna reached peak diversity each spring, but also experienced a second peak in diversity in late summer, following monsoonal rains. The majority of GSENM’s bees are highly localized, occurring in only a few locations throughout the monument, and often in low abundance, but consistently across the four years. Only a few species are widespread and super-abundant. Certain flowering plants appear to be inordinately attractive to the bees in GSENM, including several invasive species. GSENM protects one of the richest bee faunas in the west; the large elevational gradient, incredible number of flowering plants, and the mosaic of habitats are all likely contributors to this rich assemblage of bees.

  • This site allows users to enter their zip code to view a list of the best plants for birds in their area, as well as local resources and links to more information. 

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