Reed Canarygrass Wetland Restoration Project
The Tranquille flood plain used to be home to an abundance of native plant species, but after agricultural uses and the introduction of non-native reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) for cattle grazing, native species are now competing with the invasive plant for essential nutrients. The Reed Canarygrass Wetland Restoration Project is a pilot project by Dr. Catherine Tarasoff of Agrowest Consulting, to test ways in which the invasive reed canarygrass can be removed from the area.
The project involves the placement of a thick benthic barrier on top of a section of reed canarygrass to prevent the invasive species from accessing sunlight and air. Dr. Tarasoff’s goal is to learn if this treatment is effective in controlling and preventing the spread of this plant.
Working with BC Wildlife Federation’s Wetlands Institute program participants, and members of the Kamloops Naturalist Club (KNC), TNCC helped to remove samples of the reed canarygrass from underneath the barrier, replacing the barrier afterwards. The samples will be examined by Dr. Tarasoff to determine if the barrier treatment is effective. The test plot is being monitored for results over a two-year period.
After this work, Jesse Ritcey from the KNC provided the group with directions on how to successfully restore native plants to the area. This involves planting locally collected native seeds in a tray of growing medium and keeping the trays outside over the winter. The cold weather is natural for these plants and helps prepare the seeds for germination and growth the following spring. The seedlings are then transplanted into small pots so they can be planted as hardy plugs during site restoration work.
Outcomes of the Reed Canarygrass Wetland Restoration Project can inform future invasive species management in wetlands of the Thompson-Nicola Watershed and beyond.
Read more about reed canarygrass.