Multiple metrics of riparian restoration success: comparing soil, vegetation, and birds

Kristen E. Dybala1, Kristin Steger2, Robert G. Walsh1, David R. Smart2, Thomas Gardali1, and Nathaniel E. Seavy1

1Point Blue Conservation Science; 2College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Department of Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis

Since the establishment of the Cosumnes River Preserve in 1987, nongovernmental conservation organizations and public agencies have worked together to protect and restore riparian forest. Over the last 30 years, restoration methods have varied from sites that were manually planted (“planted”) and sites where the focus was on enhancing floodplain connectivity to allow natural recruitment and to enhance the success of a limited amount of manual planting (“process-based”). A restoration experiment is currently underway to evaluate the relative effectiveness of planted vs. process-based approaches, but older restoration projects provide an opportunity to examine the range of potential futures for the restoration experiment across multiple metrics. In the spring and summer of 2017, we sampled the soil, vegetation, and bird community in remnant riparian forest, in 20 and 30 year old planted and process-based restoration sites, and in the current restoration experiment. We will present preliminary results comparing soil, vegetation, and bird community metrics across sites to examine the patterns and variability in these multiple metrics of riparian restoration success.