Enhancement of natural dune building and revegetation processes on Santa Rosa Island

Material Information

Enhancement of natural dune building and revegetation processes on Santa Rosa Island
Series Title:
Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Research Work Order 159
Alternate Title:
RWO 159
Miller, Deborah L.
Thetford, Mack
Yager, Lisa
University of Florida -- Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit -- West Florida Research and Education Center
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Florida
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
University of Florida. ( LCSH )
Sand dunes ( LCSH )
Revegetation ( LCSH )
Biotic communities -- Florida ( LCSH )
Natural history -- Florida ( LCSH )
Santa Rosa Island ( local )
Hurricane Georges ( local )
Fences ( jstor )
Rhizomes ( jstor )
Plants ( jstor )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida


This collection includes items related to Florida’s environments, ecosystems, and species. It includes the subcollections of Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit project documents, the Sea Grant technical series, the Florida Geological Survey series, the Coastal Engineering Department series, the Howard T. Odum Center for Wetland technical reports, and other entities devoted to the study and preservation of Florida's natural resources.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida


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Enhancement of Natural Dune Building and Revegetation

Processes on Santa Rosa Island

Final Report

February 1999

Research Work Order 159

Deborah L. Miller

Mack Thetford

Lisa Yager

West Florida Research and Education Center
University of Florida
P.O. Box 3634
Milton, FL 32572-3634
Phone (850) 983-2632


In October 1995, Hurricane Opal's 12-15 foot storm surge leveled extensive

sections of sand dunes in the Florida panhandle. Sand dunes provide critical habitat for

the Santa Rosa beach mouse (Peromyscus polionotus leucocephalus) and serve to

protect sea turtles as well as providing coastal protection from storm surge (Woodhouse

1978, Salmon et al. 1982, Gore 1993). Fragmentation of the dune system on Santa

Rosa Island, the barrier island most impacted by the storm, may pose a threat to these

populations. Methods to facilitate reestablishment and stabilization of dunes in

hurricane created gaps are beneficial if the functional role of the dune system is more

quickly restored.

Sand fence of different types has been used to enhance sand accumulation on

other coasts (Woodhouse 1978, Hotta, et al. 1991, Mendelssohn et al. 1991). Except

in areas with strong wind conditions, a single fence has been found to be more efficient

than double fences (Woodhouse 1978, Hotta, et al. 1991). Straight sand fence was

shown to accumulate sand more effectively than side spur or zig zag (oblique) fence

configurations on Timbalier Island, Louisiana over a three year study period

(Mendolssohn et al. 1991). However, in other studies a straight fence configuration

was found to be less effective where strong winds occasionally blow parallel to the

fence (Woodhouse 1978). This suggests that recommendations of sand fence

configuration should be developed for specific sites as field conditions vary from site to


Synthetic fabrics of appropriate porosity (around 50%) have performed

similarly to wooden slat fence in accumulating sand (Woodhouse 1978). However,

biodegradable materials are preferred for sand fence construction as nonbiodegrable

material may present a hazard for burrowing animals. Geojute fabric, a product

frequently used in erosion control, is biodegradable, less expensive than wood fence

and has a porosity appropriate for sand accumulation. Evaluation of Geojute as an

alternative to the commonly used wooden sand fence would establish if this product can

be used as an efficient fence material for dune restoration.

Dune restoration utilizing sand fence has generally concentrated on fore dune

areas (Dahl, et al. 1975, Hotta, et al. 1991). Interior dunes provide the largest area of

Santa Rosa beach mouse habitat on Santa Rosa Island and mice on interior dunes are

less susceptible to destruction by severe storms (Gore and Schaefer 1992). Areas with

less impact from Opal's storm surge on Santa Rosa Island had a well-developed

secondary dune system prior to the storm. Restoration of secondary dunes may be more

important for protection of the Santa Rosa beach mouse and future stability of the dune

system. Therefore, recommendations for restoration of the secondary dune system of

the Florida panhandle is important.

In addition to sand accumulation, stabilization of the dunes against further

storms should be an ultimate goal. Vegetation assists in trapping sand and is essential

for dune stabilization (Dahl and Woodard 1977, Woodhouse 1978, Salmon et al.

1982). Plant recolonization following large storms or beach nourishment projects may

be slow (Cousens 1988, Mendelssohn et al. 1991, Gibson and Looney 1992, Morton et

al. 1994). Sea oats (Uniola paniculata) and bitter panicum (Panicum amarum) are

frequently planted for dune restoration because they are adapted to harsh beach

conditions (salt spray, low soil nutrient content, low soil moisture, sand abrasion, etc.)

and have deep fibrous roots that function to efficiently trap and stabilize sand (Dahl et

al 1975, Davis 1975, Dahl and Woodard 1977, Woodhouse 1978, Salmon et al. 1982).

To create an even and stable area of sand accumulation, interplanting the two species is

generally recommended for the Gulf Coast (Woodhouse 1978, Salmon et al. 1982).

Recommendations for the most appropriate time to plant sea oats and bitter

panicum vary. Barnett and Crewz (1997) suggest a planting window of March through

November, for Florida sites north of Tampa. However, summer planting requires

supplemental watering due to high evapotranspiration rates (Dahl, et al. 1975, Dahl

and Woodard 1977, Woodhouse 1978, Stout 1993, Barnett and Crewz 1997). Dahl, et

al. (1975) reported that sea oats and bitter panicum may be planted on the Gulf Coast

any time there is sufficient soil water and low salinity; and others have recommended a

cooler season (between late fall to early spring) as the best time to plant (Dahl and

Woodard 1977, Woodhouse 1978, Salmon, et al. 1982, Americus Plant Center 1992,

Stout 1993). Supplemental watering may be eliminated if planting late fall/early

winter when the rate of evapotranspiration is lower, thereby reducing the effort and

resources required for dune restoration.

Post-Opal, large quantities of sea oat rhizomes were found uprooted and

exposed to the elements. These rhizomes represent a potential propagule bank for

beach revegetation. Following storms, the initial recolonization of beaches by sea oats

has been reported to occur from intact extant rhizome material (Cousens 1988).

However, the potential for revegetation by reburial of sea oat rhizomes uprooted by

storms remains undocumented. The viability of uprooted rhizomes should diminish

with time of exposure to desiccating wind and salt spray. The relationship between

viability and time of exposure has not been quantified. Given the large quantities of

uprooted rhizomes available for replanting following a storm, revegetation by rhizome

plantings appears to be an important unexplored restoration technique.

To increase stabilization and diversity, native woody species have been

recommended for revegetation of coastal dunes (Davis 1975). Yar (Casurina

equisetifolia) has been used to stabilize dunes successfully in West Africa (Linehan,

personal communication). Cousens (1988) observed that rosemary (Ceratiola

ericoides) was equal to sea oats in stabilizing dunes blown apart by Hurricane Frederic

on Perdido Key, Florida. Woody species commonly found on the secondary dune

systems of Santa Rosa Island include: rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides), myrtle oak

(Quercus myrtifolia), sand live oak (Quercus geminata), yaupon (Ilex vomitoria), and

slash pine (Pinus elliottii). Evaluation of these species for their viability as dune

restoration species on Gulf Coast sites would provide information that is not available.

Of the species listed, rosemary is the only species not commercially available and

evaluation of this species first requires development of propagation and production


Rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides) is a woody, evergreen, dioecious shrub of the

Empetraceae (Crowberry family) endemic to the coastal and xeric areas of Florida,

Georgia and South Carolina (Godfrey 1988). Rosemary is a dominant dune binding

species of the barrier islands of Florida and has been the subject of an extensive

population structure study to determine the spatial pattern, age, sex and size structure

of four populations in Florida (Gibson et al. 1994). These populations were shown to

have a male to female sex ratio of 1:1 and the mean age of reproductive individuals

was 13 to 16 years for coastal populations. The uniform, globose canopy and dark,

evergreen foliage of rosemary also make it extremely desirable as a home landscape

plant in the barrier island communities. Rosemary production has not been possible on

a commercial scale because seed germination is slow and difficult and no vegetative

propagation information is available (Johnson 1986).

Objectives of this study were: 1) to evaluate the effects of sand fence orientation

(straight-conventional, straight-perpendicular and oblique) and material (Geojute or

wood) on sand accumulation in the secondary dune position, 2) to determine the effects

of late fall and spring planting seasons on sea oat and bitter panicum survival and

growth, 3) to assess the technique of planting uprooted sea oat exposed to the elements

for varying lengths of time, 4) to evaluate the viability of planting several different

woody species for revegetation of dunes, 5) evaluate the effectiveness of common

auxin sources on the rooting of rosemary, 6) evaluate the influence of two propagation

substrates on the rooting response of rosemary 7) determine if the sex of the cutting

influences rosemary rooting response, and 8) to determine if pinebark based substrates

are suitable for the production of rosemary.

Study Site

The study was located on property owned by Eglin Air Force Base on Santa

Rosa Island, Florida east of Navarre Beach (30 0 18' N, 87016' W) (Figure 1). This

portion of the island has historically maintained one of the most stable shorelines along

the entire Northeastern Gulf Coast (Otvos 1982). The western extent of the property is

separated from the mainland by Santa Rosa Sound (width approximately 0.50 km),

while Choctawhatchee Bay (width approximately 5 km ) backs the eastern extent.

Figure 1. Map of Florida with insert showing the location of Eglin Air Force Base and
Santa Rosa Island. T indicate the location of the six replicate sites.


Santa Rosa Island is a Holocene barrier island supplied by sediment west of

Shell Island, Florida (Stone and Stapor 1996). Soils of the island are almost 100%

pure quartz sand with a median diameter of approximately 0.25mm (Wolfe et al.1988).

The mosaic of coastal dunes and swales on the island support four major plant

communities: coastal interdunal swale, mesic flatwoods, scrub, and beach dunes

(Kindell, et al. 1997).

The island has a mild, subtropical climate, influenced by the gulf with mean

annual precipitation of 152 cm, rainfall and peaks in summer and late winter /early

spring. From September-February winds are prevalently out of the north while

prevailing southerly winds occur for the remainder of the year. Mean monthly wind

strength is higher in the fall, winter and spring than during summer months.

Study sites were positioned on level overwashed areas which were beach dunes

prior to Hurricanes Opal and Erin. Typical vegetation of intact or fragmented dunes

includes Ceratiola ericiodes, Hypericum reductum, Uniola paniculata, Spartina patens,

Baludina angustifolia, Paronychia erecta, Cakile constricta, Chrysoma

pauciflosculosa, Chrysopsis godfreyi, Conradina canescens, Ipomea pes-caprae, Iva

imbricata, Oenothera humifusa, Panicum amarum, Physalis angustifolia,

Schizachyrium maritimum, and Smilax auriculata.


Fence treatments

Sand fence of 3 configurations (straight-conventional, straight-perpendicular and

oblique) and two materials (wood and Geojute) were installed at six replicate overwash

sites (dunes leveled and little remaining vegetation), each at least 2.5 km long. The

wood fence consisted of 3.8 cm by 1.2 m high wooden slats bound together with steel

wire. The Geojute fabric was 1.2 m wide and both materials had a porosity of 50 %.

PVC pipe (schedule 40; 1.83 m high and 5 cm diameter) was driven into the sand

about 0.6 m to ensure stability (Figs. 2 and 3). Plastic ties were used to connect the

fence material to the PVC pipe. The following three configurations were used: 1)

straight-conventional sand fence placed parallel to the shore, 2) straight-perpendicular

- sand fence placed parallel to the shore with a 3 m perpendicular spur spaced at a 5 m

interval along the northern side of the fence, 3) oblique sand fence placed in

alternating diagonal pattern to the shore. Each fence material/ orientation combination

(treatment) within each site is 45 m for a total of 270 m of fence per site with an

additional 45 m of nonfenced beach to serve as a control. Treatments were randomly

placed in line with the remaining secondary dunes system, approximately 100-120 m

from the mean high tide line.

Plantings in association with fence treatments

Fence treatments and the unfenced control were divided into three sections and

a seasonal planting of sea oats and bitter panicum was randomly assigned to each of

two sections. The remaining section (control) was not planted. Plants were planted on

the Gulf side in 6 rows starting 1 /2 m from the fence spaced 1 m apart, alternating

species. For each season, thirty eight plants of each species were planted for each

treatment (including unfenced controls) at each replicate site for a total of 1596 of each

species per season.

Bay Side

Quercus geminata
Quercus myrtifolia
Pinus elliottii
Ilex vomitoria
Ilex coriacea
Ceratiola ericoides

Sand Live Oak
Myrtle Oak
Slash Pine
Yaupon (Holly)
Large Gallberry (Holly)

J~mL -

Straight-perpendicular Strai
Uniola paniculata
Panicum amarum

Sea Oats
Bitter Panicum

Gulf Side

Figure 2. Sand fence configuration, alignment and position of fence and plants in relation to the
Gulf and Bay.

/ 2m


5m \

.PVC Pole


1.5 m

2.5 m 2.5 m
Straight Perpendicular



Straight- Conventional

Figure 3. Location of PVC pipe and dimensions for construction of a single 5 m section for three
configurations of sand fence.



Sand accumulation

Sand accumulation was measured using a level and stadia rod. The eastern

most pole for each fence treatment was established as the benchmark for recording

elevation measurements. Beginning 1 m west of the eastern end of each fence

treatment, positions were marked with flags every 5 meters at 1, 6, 11 and 16 m north

and south of the fence (Bay/Sound and Gulf sides). Elevation was measured at all

flagged locations and midway between all flags of the first row (1m) and midway

between the flags on the first and second row (6m) from the fence. Sand accumulation

or loss was determined by change in elevation relative to the benchmark for each

treatment. A baseline elevation was determined August- September 1996 and

accumulation /loss was measured November 1996, February-March 1997, November

1997, March-April 1998 and November-December 1998.

Sand Accumulation Statistical Analysis

The sand accumulation experiment was a randomized block, split plot design

with sites as blocks, fence type/orientation as main treatments and season of planting

as splits. Because adjacent fences noticeably affected sand accumulation for

treatments, elevation measurements taken from within 6 m west of the easternmost

end and 4 m east of the westernmost end of the treatments were removed from the

analyses. All other sand accumulation data were treated as subsamples for each season

of planting. For each date, separate analyses were performed for each distance from

the fence for the Bay/Sound and the Gulf side. Season of planting did not significantly

affect sand and was removed from the analyses. Final reported analyses used a

randomized block design with sites as blocks and fence types as treatments. Mean

separations for each fence treatment were performed using the Bonferroni multiple

comparison procedure.

Seasonal Planting of Sea Oats, Bitter Panicum and Woody Plants

To determine seasonal effects on survival and growth of planted sea oats and

bitter panicum, seedlings (10 cm liners) were planted December 4-6, 1996 and March

18-19, 1997 (see description above). Plant survival was evaluated October 1997.

Length of the longest leaf, basal width, tiller number, and inflorescence number were

measured for surviving plants per season of planting per fence treatment. Woody

species (126 plants per species per date) including sand live oak, myrtle oak, slash

pine, yaupon holly, inkberry and rosemary were planted on the bay/sound side of the

fence treatment in December and March.

The season of planting experiment was designed as a randomized block, split

plot design with sites as blocks, fence type/orientation as main treatments, and season

of planting as a split plot. However, sand accumulation near the fence was different

for fall and spring plantings, and percent survival for both species was correlated with

the initial elevation at the time of planting. Consequently, to isolate the effects of

season of planting and remove the confounding effects of the fence treatments, an

analysis of variance was performed using only the survival values for the control

treatments (unfenced sections). Elevation in control sites did not differ between

seasons (significant sand accumulation did not occur). Similar analyses were

performed for the growth variables measured.

Uprooted Sea Oat Rhizome Experiment

1996 Experiment. Experiments were performed to determine viability of sea oat rhizomes

uprooted, immersed in seawater and exposed to the elements for varying lengths of time.

For each month from June October 1996, sea oat rhizomes were uprooted, sorted into

four groups culmm, 1 node, 2 nodes, and 3 nodes), and immersed in the Gulf for 5

minutes. Following immersion, rhizomes were wrapped in a net and exposed to the

elements on the beach for 1, 3 or 7 days before planting. Five rhizomes of each type were

randomly assigned to each exposure time for each uprooting time (month). Rhizomes

were randomly planted, on lm center in 6 rows, approximately 50 m inland from the

mean high tide at a depth of 25 cm.

Tiller emergence was recorded weekly through November 1996 and monthly

thereafter. Simultaneously, a pot experiment utilizing the same treatments described

above was initiated to determine rhizome viability under optimum watering conditions.

Rhizomes were planted approximately 5 cm deep in 3.8 liter plastic pots. Pots

contained 5 cm of pine bark to prevent the overlying beach sand from washing out

when watered. Pots were placed outside at the West Florida Research and Education

Center, Jay, Florida where they received water weekly.

Field and pot experiments had a factorial arrangement of treatments with

rhizome type (4 levels), exposure times (3 levels) and uprooting times (months) as

main factors. As the data had a binomial distribution, analyses were performed using a

generalized linear model based on the Chi-square distribution. Due to the large

number of non-emergence for some treatments in the beach experiment a second

analysis was performed for this experiment. Data was combined across months for

each rhizome type and exposure time and treatment effects for rhizome type and

exposure time were evaluated using a generalized linear model. Contrast statements

were used to determine differences between rhizome types.

1997 Experiment. For each month from June-October 1997, 3 node rhizomes were

planted in pots and on the beach after 3, 5 and 7 days of exposure. Additional 3 node

rhizomes were exposed for 3 and 5 days, wrapped in wet burlap and planted 5 and 7

days after the initial uprooting. These modifications were based on results of 1996

experiments. Each month, six rhizomes were randomly assigned to each exposure

treatment. Tiller emergence was recorded weekly through November 1997 and

monthly thereafter.

Rhizomes were not planted for the July day 5 exposure treatment due to

Hurricane Danny. Field and pot experiments had a factorial arrangement of treatments

with exposure times (6 levels) and uprooting times (months) as main factors. A

generalized linear model based on the Chi-square distribution was used for analysis.

July data was excluded from the analysis, as it was incomplete.

1998 Experiment. To determine if watering would increase viability of beach planted

rhizomes, the 1997 experiment was modified as follows. July 1998, 3 node rhizomes

were randomly assigned to watered and unwatered sections 75 m from the mean high

tide line (1 m centers, 6 rows) on the beach after 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 days of exposure.

Additional 3 node rhizomes were exposed for 3 and 5 days, wrapped in wet burlap and

planted 5 and 7 days after initial uprooting. Rhizomes assigned to the watered section

received water at time of planting and weekly thereafter. Tiller emergence was

recorded weekly through September 1998. The experiment had a factorial arrangement

of treatments with watering level (water or unwatered) and exposure times (7 levels) as

main factors. Twenty rhizomes were randomly assigned to each treatment. Treatment

effects were analyzed using a generalized linear model based on a Chi-square

distribution. Because there was an interaction between watering level and exposure,

effects of exposure times could not be separated using the previous model. Emergence

was analyzed for the watering treatments separately.

Hurricane Georges. September 27 and 28, 1998, the storm surge from Hurricane Georges

uprooted sea oat rhizomes on Santa Rosa Island. Three days after the surge, fifty 3 node

rhizomes were collected, wrapped in wet burlap for two days and planted on the beach.

Five days after the storm surge, fifty 3 node rhizomes were collected and planted on the

beach. Twenty-five rhizomes from each exposure treatment were randomly assigned to a

watered or unwatered section of the beach (similar to July uprooted plants). Experiment

had a factorial arrangement of treatments with exposure times (2 levels) and watering

level (watered or not watered) as main factors.

Rosemary Propagation

Softwood cuttings of rosemary were collected on July 23, 1996 from the eastern

end of Santa Rosa Island. Cuttings were segregated by sex, placed in plastic bags, and

stored in a cooler for transport. Prior to treatment, cuttings were recut to a length of 9

cm and the foliage removed from the basal 4 cm of each cutting. Auxin treatments

included Hormodin 1 and Hormodin 3, commercially available talc formulations

containing 3,000 and 8,000 ppm Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), respectively; IBA at

1,000 or 5,000 ppm; 1-Naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) at 1,000 or 5,000 ppm; Dip'N

Grow (10,000 ppm IBA and 5,000 ppm NAA stock solution) diluted with distilled

water at three ratios: 1:5 (1666.66 ppm IBA and 833.33 ppm NAA), 1:10 (909.09 ppm

IBA and 454.54 ppm NAA), and 1:20 (476.19 ppm IBA and 238.09 ppm NAA), and a

nontreated control. Both NAA and IBA were each dissolved in isopropyl alcohol.

Dilution ratios of Dip'N Grow were selected on the basis of label recommendations.

The basal 1 cm of each cutting was treated with an auxin solution for 1 sec followed by

15 min of air drying prior to insertion to a 2 cm depth in a 10 cm deep nursery flat

containing a medium of perlite:vermiculite (1:1 by volume) or 0.625 cm pinebark:sand

(6:1 by volume). Intermittent mist operated 6-8 sec every 10 min from 7 a.m. to 8

p.m. daily and cuttings were maintained under natural photoperiod. Cuttings were

sprayed on a biweekly schedule with Daconyl to control fungal diseases. The

experimental design was a split, split plot arranged in a randomized complete block

with six cuttings per auxin treatment (a total of 40 treatments) and ten replications. The

experiment was terminated after 12 weeks and percent rooting, root number, and

length of the 5 longest primary roots > 1 mm recorded. Mean separation within main

effects of propagation substrate, sex and auxin treatment were determined using the

least significant difference test at an alpha level of 5%.

Rosemary Production

Liners (rooted cuttings) from the previously described experiment were potted

into 1 quart containers using production substrates composed of pinebark:sand (6:1

v v) or pinebark:peat:sand (6:1:1 vj v jv). The production substrates contained 2.9 kg

dolomitic limestone, 0.88 kg micromax (microelement fertilizer) and 2.9 kg Osmocote

18-6-12 slow release fertilizer (8-9 month formulation) per cubic meter. Liners were

categorized on the basis of cutting sex and propagation substrate resulting in four

distinct groups; Female or male cuttings rooted in perlite:vermiculite and female or

male cuttings rooted in pinebark:sand. Plants received no supplemental fertilization, no

pesticide applications and were irrigated as needed. Plants were evaluated in October

for survival, shoot height, shoot number, and shoot number increase (secondary

branching from the base).

Results and Discussion:

Sand accumulation

Three months after fence installation, increased wind velocity attributed to

tropical storm Josephine (landfall October 8, 1996 near Apalachicola, Florida) resulted

in a range of 20-95 cm of sand accumulation 3 m either side of the fence (Fig. 4). On

average, unfenced controls lost elevation. Throughout the next 1.5 yrs, sand continued

to accumulate, increasing the width and height of the "created" dunes associated with

the sand fence (Fig. 5-8). Wood fence (all configurations) had significantly higher sand

accumulation compared to controls to a distance of 3.5 m and 1 m, bay/sound and gulf

side of fences, respectively for most dates (Tables 1 and 2). Although not significantly

different from controls, sand accumulation in association with fence treatments was

recorded to a distance of 6 m on the Gulf side of fences (November 1996 March

1998) and to 11 m (the max. distance measured from the fence) 2 years following

installation (October 1998). On the bay side accumulation did not reach 6 m until

November 1997 and 11 m in October 1998.

Initially, (year 1) the crest of sand accumulation was found on the Gulf side of

fences. However, for the remainder of the study the greatest accumulation was found



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on the bay side of fences. Thirty months (2.5 yrs) after fence installation, maximum

accumulation was found 1 m from the wood fence on the bay/sound side with

maximum values of 110 cm and minimum values of 69 cm. Accumulation in the

control plots was greater on the Gulf side.

Geojute performed well for approximately 8 months with no significant

differences in accumulation between materials for most positions (Fig.4-6, Table 1 and

2). However, the material degraded rapidly and accumulated sand was lost. Eighteen

months (1.5 yrs) after installation (fall 1997), Geojute no longer had significantly more

accumulated sand than the controls (Fig. 7- 8,Table 1 and 2). This material does not

appear suitable for dune restoration projects. For wood fences, sand accumulation did

not differ significantly among fence configurations at most distances from the fence.

However, through time the straight -conventional wood and perpendicular -wood fence

treatments more consistently had significantly higher sand accumulation values

compared to unfenced controls 3.5 m on the bay side of the fences. In Louisiana,

Mendelssohn et al. (1991) observed greater sand accumulation after 2 years with

straight and oblique fence treatments compared to straight fences with perpendicular

side spurs. However, after three years the straight sand fence design exceeded the

other designs. This study was conducted at one location (305 m) on a barrier island

and did not encompass the variation that might occur across an island. Under most

wind conditions, Woodhouse (1978) recommended using a straight fence configuration

compared to other configurations.

Regardless of fence material or configuration, plantings of sea oats and bitter

panicum did not significantly effect sand accumulation. However, any significant

impact plantings may have on elevation changes may not be detectable until plants have

gained sufficient size to become a contributing part of sand accumulation and

stabilization. Elevations will be assessed in March 1999 and possible effects of planting

sea oats and bitter panicum may be detectable at that time.

Although buried and not visible until 1997, the small amount of sea oats and

bitter panicum not uprooted by Opal recovered rapidly. Extant plants were larger than

transplants and began contributing to sand accumulation across all sites by 1997.

Hurricane and tropical storm activity in the Florida panhandle has been frequent

over the last 5 years. After installation of the fences, several storms including

Hurricane Danny (3-5 ft tidal surge) (1997) and Georges (5-8 ft tidal surge) (1998)

impacted the beaches. The position of the experimental sites on the beach (100-120 m

from the high water line) has allowed for continued dune building with minimal

negative impact from these storms. In fact, at some sites the winds associated with

tropical storm activity have enhanced sand accumulation. Hurricane Georges

(September 1998), the strongest storm since Opal, overwashed much of Santa Rosa

Island. Fenced sites were generally little impacted by the storm.

Planting of Sea Oats and Bitter Panicum

Fence effects. In fenced areas, elevation was correlated with season of planting

(p=.0001). In addition, survival of transplants was negatively correlated with

elevation (sand accumulation) at time of planting (p=.0001). Therefore, decreased

survival between seasons of planting may have been associated with the higher initial

planting elevation. In addition, because Choctawhatchee Bay (associated with the

eastern sites) is a wider body of water compared to Santa Rosa Sound (associated with

three western sites), wind speed appeared to be greater on eastern sites. Sites

associated with Choctawhatchee Bay (eastern three sites) had the greatest sand

accumulation prior to planting as a result of Tropical storm Josephine (up to 6 m from

fence mean elevation on Gulf side range from 4-72 cm eastern sites; -19 to 24 cm

western sites). Eastern sites had a lower percent plant survival (p= .0001) (17-47% sea

oats; 6-40% bitter panicum), particularly in the three rows nearest the fence while

western sites had survival rates of 62-92% and 30-91% for sea oats and bitter panicum,

respectively (Table 3). The greatest cause of transplant mortality was from excavation

by wind; thus survival was greatest where initial elevation was diminished and sand

movement was reduced. Because of environmental conditions (unstable substrate and

low moisture) planting sea oats or bitter panicum near fences after appreciable sand

accumulation has occurred (greater than 30 cm) resulted in poor survival. Dahl (1975)

reported similar problems associated with planting in conjunction with fences.

Season of planting. Because of the confounding effect of elevation associated with

fences, differences in growth and survival between late fall and spring planting dates

were assessed for control plots only (no significant elevation difference existed between

planting dates). Percent survival of sea oats and bitter panicum did not differ

significantly between seasons (Table 4). However, tiller number, basal width, number

of inflorescence and height of bitter panicum were greater for spring plantings. Spring

planted sea oats had greater basal areas and height than those planted in late fall.

Regardless of time of planting, sea oats did not produce inflorescence.

Survival of sea oats and bitter panicum regardless of location or fence

treatments was 54% (fall) and 62%(spring) which was higher than the 25% and 16%

Table 3. Percent survival of sea oats and bitter panicum planted in Fall, 1996 and spring, 1997.

Fence Type

Oblique Geojute

Oblique Wood

Santa Rosa Island
Eastern Sites
Western Sites
Eastern Sites
Western Sites
Eastern Sites
Western Sites


Sea Oats
IIl Spring
2 79
1 88
5 39
5 92
3 39
3 81

Fall Spring
36 76
87 87
11 28
54 92
8 40
67 93

Perpendicular Geojute Eastern Sites 18 47 16 37
Western Sites 75 86 63 73
Perpendicular Wood Eastern Sites 17 37 10 30
Western Sites 67 72 30 80
Straight Geojute Eastern Sites 40 43 6 37
Western Sites 89 87 46 91
Straight Wood Eastern Sites 23 14 21 6
Western Sites 62 75 50 74

Table 4. Mean percent survival, ramet number, tiller number, basal width (cm), height (cm) and number of
inflorescence of sea oats and bitter panicum planted in unfenced controls.
% Ramet Tiller Basal Width Height Inflorescence
Survival number Number (cm) (cm) Number
Sea oats
Fall 79.40 1.00 3.00 1.83 58.89 0
Spring 84.20 1.00 4.00 2.76 69.86 0
p- value 0.7229 0.1839 0.0925 0.0259 0.0024 n/a
Bitter panicum
Fall 66.40 1.00 5.00 2.19 34.42 1.00
Spring 82.40 1.00 9.00 5.20 51.37 4.00
p- value 0.3018 0.4838 0.0019 0.0002 0.0001 0.0001

reported in North Carolina and Louisiana and within the range of survival reported in

Texas (5-68%) (Seneca et al., 1976, Mendelssohn et al. 1991, Dahl et al., 1975).

Overall survival rate (fenced and unfenced areas) for bitter panicum 35 % (fall) and

60% (spring) was lower than the (76%) reported in Louisiana however, rate of survival

for control areas in our study (79% and 84%) was comparable to those reported for

Louisiana, Texas (10-70%) and North Carolina 62%.

Plantings of Woody species

Plantings of woody species were unsuccessful. For all species, soon after planting all

top growth was defoliated. However, all species produced additional new leaves.

Myrtle oak and sand live oak produced new flushes of basal sprouts for two growing

seasons. Subsequently most plants were buried or excavated as a result of tropical

storm, hurricane and cold front activity. The greatest losses of woody species resulted

from a lack of acclimation to the salt spray. Secondary losses occurred as a result of

burial associated with dune building and the seasonal shifting of accumulated sand.

Development of salt acclimation procedures would facilitate the use of this technique

for stabilizing "created" dunes.

Uprooted Sea Oat Rhizome Experiment

1996 Experiment. Mean survival (across dates) for 3 node rhizomes planted in pots

and on the beach after 1 day of exposure was 72% and 28%, respectively. For most

months, rhizomes replanted on the beach with no subsequent watering had lower

survival than those planted in pots with subsequent watering (Tables 5 and 6). Survival

generally declined with increasing length of exposure (beach p= .0001; pots p= .0001)

and decreasing size of rhizome (beach p =.0008; pots p=.0001). For most months

Table 5.Percent emergence of sea oat rhizomes culmm, 1, 2, and 3 node rhizomes)
uprooted on Santa Rosa Island, Florida, immersed in sea water and planted after 1, 3
and 7 days of exposure in pots which were watered weekly for June-October 1996.
Culm I Node 2 Nodes 3 Nodes Total
Dayl 0 0 40 80 30
Day 3 0 0 0 0 0
Day 7 20 0 0 0 5
Dayl 20 0 60 100 45
Day 3 60 20 20 80 45
Day 7 0 0 0 0 0
Day1 20 20 60 80 45
Day 3 60 0 20 60 35
Day 7 0 0 0 20 5
Day 60 80 40 80 65
Day 3 20 0 20 40 20
Day 7 0 0 0 20 5
Day 20 0 40 20 20
Day 3 0 0 20 0 5
Day 7 0 0 20 0 5

Table 6. Percent emergence of sea oat rhizomes culmm, 1, 2, and 3 node rhizomes)
uprooted on Santa Rosa Island, Florida, immersed in sea water and planted after 1, 3
and 7 days of exposure on the beach of Santa Rosa Island for June-October 1996.
Culm 1 Node 2 Nodes 3 Nodes Total
Day1 20 0 20 40 20
Day 3 0 0 0 20 5
Day7 0 0 0 0 0
Day1 20 0 20 40 20
Day 3 0 0 20 20 10
Day 7 0 0 0 0 0
Day1 0 0 20 40 15
Day 3 0 0 0 0 0
Day 7 0 0 0 0 0
Day1 20 0 0 40 15
Day 3 0 0 0 20 5
Day 7 0 0 0 0 0
Day1 0 0 40 20 15
Day 3 0 0 0 20 5
Day 7 0 20 0 0 5

and rhizome sizes, when air exposure time was greater than 3 days, less than 5% of the

potted rhizomes survived and 0% of beach planted rhizomes survived.

1997 Experiment. Generally, percent survival of three node rhizomes was greater in

1997 when compared to 1996 (Table 7). In some months, a small percentage of

rhizomes survived the longest exposure times (7 days) when planted on the beach or in

pots. After three days of exposure, mean survival (across dates) in pots and on the

beach was 40% and 50%, respectively. After 7 days of exposure mean survival was

40%, 10%, 15% and 17% for potted rhizomes, beach planted rhizomes, burlap treated

after 3 days and burlap treated after 5 days, respectively.

1998 Experiment. The 1998 experiment was conducted in July only, larger rhizome

numbers (compared to other years) were planted with all plants placed on the beach.

The maximum exposure time was extended to 11 days. Half of these plants were

watered while half were not. For watered plants, 80% survival after three days of

exposure was greater than that of all other exposure times (p=.0001) (Table 8).

Survival of unwatered plants did not vary with exposure time (p= .4121). After 11

days of exposure survival was 20%. Burlap did not increase survival for either

watered or unwatered treatments.

Hurricane Georges treated rhizomes (1998). Although rhizomes were exposed to the

elements for 5 days after Hurricane Georges, survival ranged from 32-48% (Table 9).

Watered rhizomes did not survive better than those without water and burlaped treated

plants survived equally well.

Table 7. Percent emergence of sea oat rhizomes uprooted, immersed in sea water for five minutes and
planted in pots (watered) or on Santa Rosa Island beach (not watered) after 3, 5, and 7 days of exposure and
rhizomes wrapped in wet burlap after 3 or 5 days and planted 5 or 7 days after uprooting for June-October
1997. Danny indicates that rhizomes were not planted for those treatments due to Hurricane Danny.
Asterisk (*) indicates that only 2 rhizomes were planted for that treatment and month for all other treatments 6
rhizomes were planted.
Days of Exposure June July August September October Total
3 50 33 50 50 67 50.00
5 100 Danny 17 33 33 45.75
7 50 33 50 0 67 40.00
5/ Moist after 3 Days 50 Danny 67 17 17 37.75
71 Moist after 3 Days 100* 33 33 83 100 62.25
7/ Moist after 5 Days 67 Danny 0 33 67 41.75
3 67 17 33 0 83 40.00
5 33 Danny 0 0 0 8.25
7 0 0 0 0 50 10.00
5/ Moist after 3 Days 17 Danny 33 50 17 29.25
7/ Moist after 3 Days 0 67 17 17 50 30.20
7/ Moist after 5 Days 33 Danny 0 0 17 12.50

Table 8. Percent emergence of sea oat rhizomes uprooted,
immersed in sea water, and planted after 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 days
exposure and placed in wet burlap after 3 days and planted 9
and 11 days after uprooting and either planted in an unwatered
or watered section on the beach of Santa Rosa Island, Florida in
July 1998.
Days of Exposure n Watered Unwatered

91 Wet Burlap
Treatment after 3
11/ Wet Burlap
Treatment after 3




Table 9. Percent emergence of sea oat rhizomes uprooted by
storm surge from Hurricane Georges (September 1998) which
were either collected 3 days after the surge, wrapped in wet
burlap and planted 2 days later or were collected and planted 5
days after uprooting. Rhizomes were planted in either a watered
or unwatered section of the beach on Santa Rosa Island,
Planted 5 Days After
Storm Surge n Watered Unwatered
No Moisture
Treatment 25 40 48
Moist After 3 Days 25 32 40

Rhizome Summary

Although rainfall was generally average (June through October) in 1996 (Fig. 9),

rhizome survival was poor compared to other years. These rhizomes had most of their

top growth removed in October of 1995 by hurricane Opal and were recovering from

conditions associated with the tidal surge. Thus, the rhizomes excavated in 1996 may

have been of poorer quality (depleted in carbohydrate reserves) compared to those used

in 1997 and 1998. For those plants planted on the beach without water, differences in

survival among months may be related to rainfall as well. Low rainfall in September

and October of 1997 resulted in mean survival of 11% (lowest for all months) from

September excavated rhizomes while tillers associated with October excavated

rhizomes did not appear until March of 1998. High rainfall after rhizome planting in

1998 appeared to increase rhizome survival.

Most rhizomes uprooted by hurricane Georges were moist when found, even

though rhizomes were collected from sites such as along roads, on fences and at the

edge of wet depressions. In addition, the ground was saturated by precipitation

associated with the storm. Both conditions appeared to have contributed to the

increased survival of these rhizomes. Perhaps, the harsh treatment of rhizomes by the

research techniques employed was greater than those imposed by hurricanes. While no

one has attempted to utilize sea oat rhizomes uprooted by storm surge for restoration,

Dahl (1975) used divisions of established sea oat plants culmss attached to rhizome

segments) for restoration. Survival of these transplants (harvested in Oct April) was

0-47%. Based on 70 experimental beach plantings of sea oats, Dahl (1975) rated 50%

or better survival as excellent, 25-50% survival as very good. Using this rating system

a) I CO
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0> > 0


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(wo) uoioe;!dpeJd 181o0

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the utilization of hurricane uprooted rhizomes is recommended as a restoration

technique, particularly if rhizomes can be collected and replanted quickly and watered.

In addition, planting sea oats and bitter panicum transplants without water also resulted

in good to excellent results.

Rosemary Propagation

Percent rooting. The initial analysis indicated only the main effect of propagation

substrate was significant and there were no significant interactions between the main

effects of propagation substrate, sex and auxin treatment. The propagation substrate did

have an effect on the percentage of cuttings that rooted (p= 0.0001) with cuttings

propagated in perlite:vermiculite rooting at 97.8% and cuttings propagated in

pinebark:sand rooting at 85.4%. The coarse texture of the pinebark:sand may have a

particle size too great for the fine textured roots of rosemary. The pinebark:sand also

retained a greater quantity of water than did the perlite:vermiculite. In addition, the

texture and water holding capacity of the perlite:vermiculite more closely resembles the

fine textured sand found in the native habitat of rosemary.

Root number. The initial analysis indicated the main effects of substrate (p= 0.0001),

auxin (p= 0.0001), and sex (p= 0.007) were significant. A substrate by auxin

interaction (p= 0.01) was also present; therefore, results for each substrate are

presented independently. Cuttings propagated in the perlite:vermiculite substrate

produced a mean of 13.1 roots per cutting while cuttings propagated in the

pinebark:sand substrate produced a mean of 7.04 roots per cutting. Cuttings from male

plants produced more roots than cuttings from female plants with males producing

10.68 and females 9.71 roots. Auxin application also influenced root numbers but the

response to auxin differed with the propagation substrate (Table 10). The greatest

number of roots per cutting for cuttings propagated in the perlite:vermiculite substrate

were achieved with NAA at 1,000 or 5,000 ppm and the Dip'N Grow (1:5) which

contained NAA at a concentration of 833.33 ppm. While NAA treatments appeared to

increase the number of roots per cutting compared to the control, root number did not

improve with liquid formulations of IBA. In addition, the higher concentration of IBA

may have reduced root number. For cuttings propagated in the pinebark:sand substrate

the number of roots per cutting was lower than for cuttings propagated in the

perlite:vermiculite substrate. The greatest number of roots for cuttings propagated in

the pinebark:sand substrate occurred with Dip'N Grow (1:20) with 9.06 roots per

cutting; the lowest value among cuttings propagated in the perlite:vermiculite substrate

was 9.40 roots per cutting. Liquid formulations of IBA at 1,000 and 5,000 ppm

resulted in the fewest roots per cutting. Among cuttings propagated in the

pinebark:sand substrate, no auxin treatment resulted in a greater root number than the

nontreated control.

Root length. The initial analysis indicated the main effects of substrate (p= 0.002) and

sex (p= 0.04) were significant. Substrate by auxin (p= 0.0001) and substrate by sex

(p= 0.009) interactions were also present; therefore, results for each substrate are

presented independently. Cuttings propagated in the perlite:vermiculite substrate

produced roots with a mean length of 2.35 cm (0.94 in) while cuttings propagated in

the pinebark:sand substrate produced roots with a mean length of 2.82 cm (1.13 in).

Root length of cuttings from male and female plants differed only for the cuttings

propagated in the perlite:vermiculite substrate with root length of female cuttings an

Table 10. Influence of auxin treatment on root number and root length of Ceratiola ericoides
(Rosemary) rooted in two propagation substrates. Means within a column followed by the same
letter do not differ (LSD alpha = 0.05).

Auxin treatment Perlite:vermiculite Pinebark:sand

Root number Root length Root number Root length

Hormodin 1 12.31 cde 1.85 de 8.88 ab 3.69 a

Hormodin 3 12.96 bcde 1.89 de 6.65 bc 3.19 abc

Dip'N Grow (1:20) 13.57 bed 2.60 be 9.06 a 3.20 ab

Dip'N Grow (1:10) 14.33 b 2.91 ab 7.38 abc 2.89 abc

Dip'N Grow (1:5) 16.25 a 3.45 a 7.98 abc 2.38 bc

NAA 1,000 ppm 14.21 be 2.41 bcd 6.64 be 2.33 bc

NAA 5,000 ppm 14.78 ab 2.82 ab 6.26 be 2.22 c

IBA 1,000 ppm 11.25 e 1.59 e 5.57 bc 3.10 abc

IBA 5,000 ppm 9.40 f 2.11 cde 5.26 c 2.70 abc

Nontreated control 11.92 de 1.86 de 7.00 abc 2.55 abc

LSD alpha = 0.05 1.90 0.63 3.73 1.21

average of 2.04 cm (0.82 in) and root length of male cuttings and average of 2.67 cm

(1.07 in). Mean root length for cuttings propagated in the pinebark:sand substrate was

2.82 cm (1.13 in). Auxin application also influenced root length but the response to

auxin differed with the propagation medium (Table 10). For cuttings propagated in the

perlite:vermiculite substrate, root length was increased over that of the nontreated

control with the application of auxins containing NAA. The greatest root length for

cuttings propagated in the perlite:vermiculite substrate was achieved with all three

concentrations of Dip'N Grow and NAA at 1,000 ppm. Root length of cuttings

receiving auxin treatments containing IBA alone did not differ from the control.

Treatment with IBA would therefore not offer any benefit over nontreated cuttings. For

cuttings propagated in the pinebark:sand substrate the root length did not differ from

that of the control. Root lengths were equal to, or greater than, those of cuttings rooted

in the perlite:vermiculite substrate. This response was not unexpected since the cuttings

propagated in the pinebark:sand substrate also had fewer roots per cutting which would

allow for more carbohydrates to be allocated to root length.

Significance to Industry: These data demonstrate that rosemary can be successfully

propagated from softwood cuttings using a perlite:vermiculite substrate. Nurserymen

should expect lower rooting percentages and lower root numbers per cutting when

using a pinebark:sand substrate. Nurserymen can also expect to see slight differences in

root system quality among cuttings from male and female plants. In addition,

nurserymen can achieve an improvement of root quality by increasing root number and

root length with the application of a synthetic auxin containing 1,000 to 5,000 ppm


Rosemary production

There were no interactions between the main effects of liner type and

production substrate. Production substrate had no effect on survival (73%) or shoot

number (12) but did influence plant height. Liners grown in pinebark:sand were

slightly shorter than liners grown in pinebark:peat:sand with heights of 41.1 cm and

43.4 cm, respectively. Slight differences in shoot number were evident among the

liner types with female and male cuttings rooted in perlite:vermiculite having 15 and 12

branches per cutting and female and male cuttings rooted in pinebark:sand having 11

and 10 branches per cutting, respectively. Although the total number of shoots differed

slightly among the four liner types the percentage of new shoots did not differ and the

percent increase in shoot number ranged between 24 and 34% for the four liner types.

Both production substrates are considered suitable for rosemary production.

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