Plants = Habitat
Insects, fish, birds, and mammals rely on a vast green infrastructure
Plant communities translate the geophysical variation of the land—its soil, topography, and so on—into the living habitats that sustain life. 保护每个栖息地的几个完整的例子是一个重要的策略，以维持植物提供的自然利益，并维持依赖于它们的物种的全部多样性.
To this end, we are collaborating with The Nature Conservancy on a new report that sets the targets, down to the parcel level, 为了保护土地，在气候变化面前确保整个地区的植物多样性. Click here 观看我们的植物多样性研讨会(2020年10月)的视频，该视频介绍了该报告的主要特点.
We also work to bank the seeds of rare species for the future and help to restore habitats on public lands. When necessary, we improve degraded environments as we restore plant populations—adding soils, removing invasive plants, or bolstering eroded slopes.
Our strategic plan outlines our complete set of goals for conserving and restoring habitat. Stories about some of our restoration projects appear below.
Native Plants Return to a Mountaintop
Though only 1,528 feet high, 位于缅因州阿卡迪亚国家公园的卡迪拉克山的山顶是东海岸游客最多的地方之一, receiving about 500,000 visitors a year. Their trampling feet, along with pummeling rains, have worn down the summit’s alpine plants and fragile soils.
In 2015, 国家公园管理局与本土植物信托公司签订了一项为期多年的实验性修复峰会植物群落的合同. 该项目从一份由阿卡迪亚之友(Friends of Acadia)资助的峰会维管(叶)植物清单开始. Our survey establishes a baseline for monitoring these plant communities going forward.
我们的研究植物学家阿瑟·海恩斯(Arthur Haines)和合同植物学家吉尔·韦伯(Jill Weber)梳理了整个18英亩的山顶，并创建了一份145个物种的清单. 他们还沿着四个样带(测量线)划定了147个地块，并确定了每个地块中每种物种的百分比. 他们确定了五种稀有植物，并发现了第一个气候变化的信号:一些物种, such as pitch pine (Pinus rigida), have already moved up from lower elevations and established small summit colonies.
For the next phase, Conservation staff marked locations for more than 60 restoration test plots, including several areas already fenced off to prevent trampling. With Acadia staff and contractors, we collected 20,000 seeds from 25 species on the summit, both common and rare plants, so that we could propagate plants for restoration experiments. 然后，我们在2平方米的试验田中播种部分种子，以测试不同的播种方法, 或者是治疗——简单地在贫瘠的土壤中添加种子可能不足以支持恢复. We had more success the next season (2017) , when we planted seedlings grown at our Nasami Farm nursery from seed collected at Cadillac.
In 2018, 我们开始测试在多风的山顶和陡峭的山坡上添加和保持有机质和土壤的方法. We have sterilized soil; used coir mats to keep soil, seeds, and seedlings in place; and installed 12 x 16-inch flats of small plugs that have already rooted together.
The work continues, as we seek to learn which techniques are the most effective, least expensive, and can be replicated on other degraded mountaintops.
Collecting Seed to Restore a Storm-ravaged Coast
经过多年收集种子以恢复被飓风桑迪破坏的沿海本地植物群落的项目, replanting is underway.
如果你把新英格兰五个州被飓风桑迪破坏的海岸线上的868袋种子整理成一排, the grapefruit-sized sacks would fill a school bus.
The seeds come from plants native to the coastal habitats that were flooded, washed out, or buried by the 2012 superstorm. Over three years, we visited 127 sites and collected seed from more than 215,000 plants. These represent Native Plant Trust's contribution to a $2.3 million initiative, in partnership with North Carolina Botanic Garden and Mid-Atlantic Regional Seed Bank, to ensure that locally sourced, 从缅因州到弗吉尼亚州的修复项目中都有基因合适的植物.
合作伙伴们在我们各自的海岸线采集了50种本地植物的种子，以恢复所有类型的沿海栖息地——从潮下带, dunes, and salt marshes to freshwater wetlands, forests, rivers, and streams. To date, we have provided seed for fourteen restoration projects in New England, five of which have begun propagation or planting.
一个成功的项目是在米德尔敦的萨丘斯特点国家野生动物保护区(Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge)修复11英亩的盐沼, RI. The hurricane inundated the salt marsh and made it clear that to save the habitat, it would be necessary to raise its elevation. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service refuge manager decided to lay down a new layer of soil and sand, varying from an inch to a foot thick, and sculpt new upland mounds. Over two years, refuge staff and volunteers planted 38,000 plugs (deep-rooted seedlings) of native grasses and rushes grown from seed we collected. Last spring, the staff experimented with sowing seed directly into the ground. Self-seeded asters (Aster spp.), seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens), and other species have filled in around the planted species. Together, the plants literally anchor the marsh, 哪些是候鸟的重要栖息地，哪些是十几种鱼类的育婴室.
我们收集的其余种子存放在联邦设施中，可供土地管理者用于修复盐沼, bolster flood resiliency on riverbanks, and establish native species on land exposed after dam removal or clearing invasive species.
Funded by the federal Department of the Interior, the project is also the first large-scale, coordinated seed-banking effort in the eastern United States. Until this initiative, 东部各州的恢复项目主要依靠来自该国其他地区的植物和种子. 这也是以西方为中心的“成功的种子”项目向东方的第一次重大扩张, run by the Bureau of Land Management, of which we have been a partner for over a decade.
Why Is This Wild Rice Declining?
A federal agency asked our Conservation staff to find out
By Michael Piantedosi, NEPCoP/Seed Bank Coordinator
我们的自然保育工作人员最近结束了为期三年的实验，以确定是什么原因导致野生稻(Zizania aquatica) in two Massachusetts locations owned by the U.S. Fish & 野生动物服务:萨德伯里河和大草原国家野生动物保护区康科德蓄水池. Wild rice is a crucial food for many animals, including several duck species, great blue heron, and migrating waterfowl that rely on the Great Meadows refuge.
Anecdotal reports noted a decline in wild rice in these two locations, 这种植物曾经在什么地方生长得很好:缓慢流动的水和淡水沼泽. In recent years, however, invasive aquatic plants had spread in each of these areas. Were the invasive plants choking out the wild rice, or were other factors involved, such as an uptick in wildlife feasting on the rice before it could germinate? 该机构与我们的保护工作人员签订了三年的合同，研究野生水稻的生态, restoration techniques, and seed germination.
We designed our first experiment to gauge the effects of wildlife—fish, rodents, and waterfowl—on the growth and survival of wild rice. We constructed two types of exclosures, structures that function as fences in the water. The first type was designed to limit access by fish, rodents, and birds. The second type allowed fish to pass through but kept out rodents and birds. 这项实验的初步数据表明，这些动物没有吃足够的野生水稻来抑制该植物在研究地区的萌发和生存.
Anecdotally, 一些研究人员认为，入侵物种是野生稻数量下降的主要原因. 了解入侵植物与野生稻之间的动态关系对我们制定野生稻的恢复策略具有重要意义. Invasive species of particular concern in the research sites are water chestnut (Trapa natans) on the Sudbury River and American lotus (Nelumbo lutea) at the Great Meadows refuge, which respectively are the dominant competition for habitat and, likely, for nutrients.
推测入侵植物是影响野生水稻萌发和生长的重要因素, we built four open quadrats at each location to test this. (Quadrats are square frames that isolate a sampling plot within a larger area. In this case, we located them randomly within potential wild rice habitat.)我们在一半的样方中播种了从现场采集的野生水稻种子，而在另一半样方中没有播种任何种子, which served as control plots. In half of the quadrats, we also regularly removed the invasive water chestnut and lotus.
最高的存活率出现在我们播种种子并人工清除入侵植物的样方. 我们发现，当入侵植物物种能够进入时，对野生水稻的负面影响最为显著, either from existing seeds embedded in the mud under the water, or possibly from plants penetrating the quadrats.
这些实验收集的数据使我们能够更好地理解这两个研究地点野生水稻恢复的潜力. Regardless, 看来，由于美洲莲完全支配了地表水，大草原上适合野生水稻繁殖的许多潜在栖息地已经受到了损害.
From this preliminary data, 我们强烈建议未来的研究应侧重于入侵植物物种之间的关系, particularly the species noted here, with that of wild rice and its habitat. Further research may also factor in the effects of water chemistry, nutrient loading, and climate-related events (such as storm surges, extensive flooding, drought, etc.) on wild rice and its habitat.