CAZCA Restoration Lab: Revegetation of Xeririparian Woodland in South-Central Arizona

Thu Apr. 25 at 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Event Details

Revegetation efforts in our degraded ecological systems face many different challenges from decreased availability of surface water to the colonization of plant communities with non-native competitors.

Participate in this Restoration Lab with McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and join Russell Benford from the Gila River Indian Community - DEQ, as we break out to discuss & explore his work in ecological restoration.

We'll have light food and refreshments!

Revegetation of Xeririparian Woodland in South-Central Arizona
Benford, R., Meneses, N. Lamoureux, R. and Green, D.

Revegetation efforts in degraded ecological systems must acknowledge historic and accommodate present and foreseeable conditions to achieve their goals. In the desert Southwest, where climax communities once consisted of xeric grassland, desert-scrub and mesquite bosques, anthropogenic change has not only decreased the availability of surface and near-subsurface water; it has also increased the salinity and alkalinity of soil, diminished cryptobiotic activity and facilitated the colonization of endemic plant communities with exotic competitors.

These challenges make restoration of historic plant communities unrealistic and encourage more pragmatic goals. Such goals can be best framed by understanding present-day soil and hydrologic conditions, extant biologic resources in the seed bank and colonization zone and the potential for foundation species to thrive in modern and predicted conditions. Here, we discuss an approach to restoration using readily available ecological site data, simple common garden experiments, ecological niche modeling and assisted migration of focal species to pursue technically informed but socially determined restoration goals in a xeririparian woodland.