Hydrology is the most important factor in determining wetland type, revegetation success, and wetland function and value. Changes in water levels influence species composition, structure, and distribution of plant communities. Water management is absolutely critical during plant establishment, and remains crucial through the life of the wetland for proper community management (Hoag et al. 1995). Juncus species can tolerate periods of drought and total inundation. It is important to keep transplanted plugs moist, not flooded, until roots are established. Water levels can then be managed to enhance or reduce spread as well as control terrestrial weeds.
Muskrats have evolved with wetland ecosystems and form a valuable component of healthy functioning wetland communities. Muskrats use emergent wetland vegetation such as Juncus species for hut construction and for food. Typically, an area of open water is created around the huts. Muskrat eatouts increase wetland diversity by providing opportunities for aquatic vegetation to become established in the open water and the huts provide a substrate for shrubs and other plant species.
Juncus species tend to be fairly resilient to insect and disease problems. Aphids may feed on the stems, but rarely cause significant damage. If an insect or disease problem is encountered in the greenhouse, treatment options may be limited by cultural constraints if these plants are to be used by Indian basketweavers. Pesticide exposure is higher for basketweavers than the rest of the population. Juncus culms are split with the mouth to process basketry materials; therefore, an unusually high degree of human exposure and risk occur with plants designated for ethnobotanic use. Rushes are perennial, rhizomatous plants. In most cases, they will out-compete other species within the wetland area of the site, eliminating the need for manual or chemical control of invasive species.
Traditional Resource Management: The management of Juncus effusus stands includes the following: ownership of prime basket rush sites, stimulation of new growth through harvesting stalks, periodic burning, and not harvesting when soils are very mucky and likely to be compacted. The stalks are cut above the rhizomes and roots, leaving plenty of buds to regrow new shoots. As with other rhizomatous species, harvesting stimulates new growth and maintains the clone in a juvenile or immature growth phase, where productivity is highest.
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