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Title: Habitat development field investigations, Bolivar Peninsula, marsh and upland habitat development site, Galveston Bay, Texas : summary report
Authors: Allen, Hollis H.
Clairain, Ellis J., Jr.
Diaz, R. J. (Robert J.)
Ford, Alfred W.
Hunt, L. Jean
Wells, B. R. (Bobby Ray), 1934-
Keywords: Wildlife habitat improvement--Texas--Bolivar Peninsula
Bolivar Peninsula (Tex.)
Plant introduction
Salt marshes--Texas--Galveston Bay
Galveston Bay (Tex.)
Publisher: U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station
Series/Report no.: Technical Report (Dredged Material Research Program (U.S.)) ; no. D-78-15
Abstract: A 2-1/2-year field investigation was conducted at Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston Bay, Texas, to test the feasibility and impact of developing marsh and upland habitats on dredged material. This report summarizes baseline information derived before habitat development operations and results of postdevelopment operations. Two marsh grass species and nine upland plant species including trees, shrubs, and grasses were planted in test plots on a dredged material site lying between the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and Galveston Bay. Tests were conducted to measure plant survival and performance in response to different fertilizer treatments and planting methods. Plantings of the marsh grasses were made within an intertidal area protected from wave energies by a sandbag dike. Prior to and during plant development, information was collected to document changes in fish and wildlife communities. Plantings were successful in both and marsh and upland. Marsh grasses surviving and performing well included smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and saltmeadow cordgrass (Spartina patens). Upland plants demonstrating good survival and growth were live oak (Quercus virginiana), wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera), winged sumac (Rhus copallina), bitter panicum grass (Panicum amarum), and coastal bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon var alecia). Components of the habitat development site, consisting of the planted vegetation and sandbag dike, attracted insects, aquatic organisms, and birds. As the plants developed, the numbers of shore insects, mainly dipterans and beetles, increased greatly in the intertidal study area. Shorebirds associated with marshes moved onto the site and increased in density. The abundance of benthos was 1.5 times greater inside the diked area than outside; within the diked area, the benthos in planted areas was 1.5 times as abundant as the benthos in bare areas. After less than a year of development, the site provided heterogeneous habitats which tended to support greater use by fish and benthos than is generally associated with sandy shores along Bolivar Peninsula. The field investigation indicated that habitat development is a feasible dredged material disposal alternative.
Description: Technical Report
Gov't Doc #: Technical Report D-78-15
Rights: Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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