Most of the native wetland prairies once found in the Willamette Valley of Oregon have been converted to agriculture, developed, or altered by disturbance and cessation of burning, especially in the northern portion of the valley. Here, data on vegetation and soils from three remnant and three restored wetland prairies in the northern Willamette Valley were analyzed to investigate whether differences among sites are related to site characteristics or management. Vascular plant species presence and percent cover data were collected from three 10 m × 10 m plots randomly located within study sites. Soil samples were collected adjacent to these plots and from nearby agricultural sites and analyzed for organic matter, moisture content, pH, and soil texture. Multivariate ordination techniques and ANOVA were used to assess differences among sites. Native species cover was higher in restorations than remnants, although remnant and restored sites did not differ significantly in native species richness. However, NMS ordination distinguished vegetation communities in restorations from those in remnants. Species such as Deschampsia cespitosa, Carex densa, Juncus tenuis and Holcus lanatus were associated with remnants, whereas Anthemis cotula, Agrostis exarata, Plagiobothrys scouleri and Veronica peregrina ssp. xalapensis were associated with restorations. Soil moisture and organic matter are positively correlated with remnant status, while management attributes such as herbicide use and mowing are correlated with restorations. While some restoration goals (such as high native species cover) are being met within a decade of restoration, plant communities in restorations differ from those of wetland prairie remnants.
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Vol. 88 • No. 4