Vegetation establishment and shoreline stabilization, Galveston Bay, Texas.
Webb, J.W.; Dodd, J.D.
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Adaption of species for shoreline stabilization, use of wave-stilling devices, and effects of fertilizers were studied along the north shore of East Bay in Texas. Water salinity varied throughout the study with rainfall and evaporation but never exceeded 18,500 parts per million. Soil texture was classified as a loam or clay-loam. Soil pH, salinity, and cation concentrations fluctuated with bay water salinity, rainfall, evaporation, and location in relation to tidal zones. Giant reed and gulf cordgrass were best adapted for dry areas. Smooth cordgrass was the species best adapted in areas exposed to tidal action. The survival and growth of this species appeared essential in stabilizing the eroding upper Texas coast bay shoreline. Wave-stilling devices of hay bales were not able to withstand high-wave energy. Tires on cables attached to posts lost their effectiveness as they sank into the mud. Nevertheless, smooth cordgrass survival was significantly greater behind these devices. Mechanical planting behind a tractor was accomplished at low tides. Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers did not significantly improve survival or reproduction in transplanted areas, but were significant in natural smooth cordgrass stands for reproduction and herbage production.