• Controls on Willow Cutting Survival in a Montane Riparian Area

      Gage, Edward A.; Cooper, David J. (Society for Range Management, 2004-11-01)
      To provide information to guide restoration of montane riparian willow communities, we investigated factors influencing the survival of prerooted and unrooted mountain willow (Salix monticola Bebb) cuttings in 2 degraded montane riparian areas in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. We planted cuttings across a gradient of water table depths and soil textures and evaluated their survival using logistic regression analysis. Our results indicate that depth to groundwater was a critical factor influencing survival of both rooted and unrooted cuttings. We found that few cuttings (7.8% rooted, 3.9% unrooted) survived where summer water table depths exceeded approximately 90 cm. Soil texture was not a significant factor in our logistic models, potentially because of low silt and clay fractions in our plots. Rooted cuttings survived at a higher rate than unrooted cuttings after 1 (55.8% vs. 36.5%, P < 0.001) and 2 (44.5% vs. 26.1%, P < 0.001) years of growth. We conclude that, when combined with appropriate hydrologic data, the use of rooted cuttings represents an effective technique to restore and revegetate degraded montane riparian ecosystems.