Glendon Activity 3: Recommended plants for riverbank stabilization (Part 2)

Riverbank stabilization involves the use of extensive root systems in order to stabilize soil and to slow erosion. We recommend several species native to the region as these are not only predicted to be adapted to the soil quality and climate, but they may also attract and support communities of native pollinators. Seedlings or cuttings are recommended with many of the plants, however growing from seed may also be possible although time consuming1.

We must note that although plants can be used to stabilize the banks, we must avoid parts of the bank that are either: unvegetated due to extreme amounts of erosion, very steep, or have chunks of soil falling into the river. Planting may not be enough for such unstable banks1.

There are multiple ways shoreline zones/types have been classified. The method we are using emphasizes seasonality, particularly with respect to changing water levels due to the winter months. Plant choices should be based on the following zones: uplands; temporarily flooded (under water only during periods of widespread flooding); seasonally flooded (under water during an average winter); intermittently exposed (exposed during low water in the summer); permanently flooded (in the riverbed)1.

Planting zone graphic

Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior. Dec. 1979. Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States.

All of the following plants selected are native, perennial, and thought to have good erosion control, which is necessary in riverbank stabilization. The following table serves as a guide to assist in deciding where to plant these species with respect to mostly abiotic factors such as sun conditions and riverbank zone in which the plant at hand grows best. It is best to plant numerous plant growth forms in order to have a thick and extensive layer of roots1,2.

Recommended plant table

  1. Linn Soil and Water Conservation District. Oregon Department of Agriculture (US). 2005. Guide for Using Willamette Valley Native. [Online] Available from: http://www.linnswcd.oacd.org/NativePlantGuide05.pdf
  2. Sound Native Plants. 2008. Role of vegetation in slope stability. (360): 4122. [Online] Available from: http://soundnativeplants.com/wp-content/uploads/Veg_Slope_Stability.pdf
  3. Stevens, M and Dozier, I. 2016. Plant fact sheet for Corylus cornuta (Beaked Hazel). USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Corvallis Plant Materials Center, Corvallis, OR.
  4. Gonzalves, P. 2016. Plant fact sheet for Sambucus racemosa (Red elderberry). USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Corvallis Plant Materials Center, Corvallis, OR.
  5. Stevens, M. 2006. Plant fact sheet for Cornus sericea (Red osier dogwood). USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Corvallis Plant Materials Center, Corvallis, OR.
  6. Young-Mathews, A. 2012. Plant fact sheet for slender cinquefoil (Potentilla gracilis). USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Corvallis Plant Materials Center, Corvallis, OR.
  7. Hoag, J.C. 2006. Plant fact sheet for Eleocharis palustris (Creeping Spikerush). USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Corvallis Plant Materials Center, Corvallis, OR.

 

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One Response to Glendon Activity 3: Recommended plants for riverbank stabilization (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: Glendon Activity 3: Plant Species for River Bank Planting and Stabilization (Part 1) | #Biol4095 Applied Plant Ecology Class Blog

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