Karin M. Kettenring

Karin M. Kettenring
Utah State University | USU · Department of Watershed Sciences

Ph.D.

About

100
Publications
15,535
Reads
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2,309
Citations
Introduction
I am Professor of Wetland Ecology in the Ecology Center and Department of Watershed Sciences at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, USA. I am a plant ecologist with particular interests in wetlands, revegetation and restoration genetics, invasive species, and seed ecology.
Additional affiliations
August 2008 - present
Utah State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2006 - June 2008
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC)
Position
  • PostDoc Position
June 1999 - July 2000
Archbold Biological Station
Position
  • Intern

Publications

Publications (100)
Article
Full-text available
Wetland plants tolerate potentially hazardous metals through a variety of strategies, including exclusion or accumulation. Whether plants sequester metals and where they store them in their tissues is important for understanding the potential role of plants as remediators or vectors of metals to terrestrial food webs. Here we evaluate metal sequest...
Article
Sowing native seeds is a common approach to reintroduce native plants to degraded systems. However, this method is often overlooked in wetland restoration despite the immense global loss of diverse native wetland vegetation. Developing guiding principles for seed‐based wetland restoration is critical to maximize native plant recovery, particularly...
Article
Question Limited funds and compressed timelines frequently translate into a reliance on seed banks for native plant recovery following invasive plant management. This approach assumes (1) baseline seed bank communities are sufficient for native plant recovery regardless of site environmental conditions, (2) different management actions variably imp...
Article
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The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration will result in an unprecedented need for seeds. Agricultural production, or the growing of plants under controlled conditions to produce desired resources, can be a helpful tool for providing the quantities of seeds needed for large‐scale restoration. In some ecosystems, agricultural production of native plant...
Article
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Wetlands provide critical wildlife habitat, improve water quality, and mitigate the impacts of floods, droughts, and climate change. Yet, they are drained, filled, dredged, and otherwise altered by humans, all of which contribute to their high susceptibility to plant invasions. Given the societal significance of wetlands and the disproportionately...
Article
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Members of the order Carnivora are a unique and important seed disperser who consume and deposit undamaged seeds while providing regular long‐distance seed dispersal opportunities. Some members of Carnivora, such as coyotes (Canis latrans), are undergoing range expansions which may help the plant species they consume colonize new locations or repla...
Article
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Study Region Lake Urmia, Iran. Study focus There is widespread interest in restoring drying saline lakes. At Iran’s hypersaline Lake Urmia, managers have sought a uniform target lake level of 1274.1 m above sea level to lower salinity below 263 g L⁻¹ and recover Artemia to sufficient densities to support flamingos. We suggest that addressing a bro...
Article
Wetlands provide essential habitat for shorebirds, songbirds, and waterfowl. Invasive species can disrupt trophic interactions within wetlands by altering the arthropod assemblages on which birds rely. An invasive grass species, Phragmites australis (common reed), has invaded wetlands across North America, including those surrounding the Great Salt...
Article
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Shoreline hardening affects ecological processes in nearshore intertidal ecosystems and upland habitats. Invasive species establishment and spread is one consequence of shoreline alterations. Invasive Phragmites australis has spread throughout the U.S., including in subestuaries with hardened shorelines. It is unclear, though, by what mechanisms sh...
Article
Globally, the management of invasive plants is motivated by a desire to improve ecosystem services (e.g., recreation, flood mitigation, soil fertility for agriculture, aesthetics) and critical habitat for imperiled species. To reduce invader populations and impacts, it is important to document the social and ecological basis (i.e., the social-ecolo...
Article
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As we approach the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030), there is renewed focus on improving wetland restoration practices to reestablish the habitat and climate mitigation functions and services that wetlands provide. A first step in restoring these functions and services is to reestablish the native vegetation structure and composition thr...
Article
This study shows that riverine riparian (shoreline) zones — and plant management decisions made therein — can measurably influence the availability of silica delivered to lower reaches of rivers, estuaries, and some coastal oceans. The aims were to determine how much silica is sequestered by riparian vegetation in a river, and what processes govern...
Article
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Like many wetlands worldwide, Great Salt Lake (GSL) wetlands have been declining. Yet, little is known about the ecosystem functions provided by the different GSL wetland plant species. This knowledge gap hinders predictions of the effects of species loss and restoration practices on ecosystem functioning. To better understand how the loss of diffe...
Chapter
Great Salt Lake (GSL) and its wetlands are recognized around the world for the valuable habitat they provide for millions of migratory birds. GSL wetlands are threatened by a number of invasive plants, the most problematic of which is non-native phragmites (Phragmites australis) although there are a number of other species that are concerning and a...
Article
We elevate the undervalued role of wetland protective services for mitigating disastrous consequences of unprecedented weather-related events for human communities. Scientific evidence increasingly reveals that wetlands play critical hydrologic roles in landscapes, helping to mitigate flood, drought, and, in some cases, fire risks. However, wetland...
Article
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More than 5 million people live near Lake Urmia in northwestern Iran. Urmia is one of the world’s largest hypersaline lakes, yet over the past two decades, the lake has lost 95% of its volume and the lake level has dropped more than 7 m. We synthesized 40 years of available data, defined 10 management objectives for human health, water quality, eco...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract The outcomes of invasive plant removal efforts are influenced by management decisions, but are also contingent on the uncontrolled spatial and temporal context of management areas. Phragmites australis is an aggressive invader that is intensively managed in wetlands across North America. Treatment options have been understudied, and the ec...
Article
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Classical biocontrol constitutes the importation of natural enemies from a native range to control a non-native pest. This is challenging when the target organism is phylogenetically close to a sympatric non-target form. Recent papers have proposed and recommended that two European moths (Archanara spp.) be introduced to North America to control no...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Seed germination response to future climate change scenarios is an essential consideration as higher temperatures will likely affect germination in the field. In the future, wetlands will become drier on average and drought extremes may become common. Great Salt Lake (GSL) wetlands are a critical resource for millions of migratory birds and are thr...
Article
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The natural recolonization of native plant communities following invasive species management is notoriously challenging to predict, since outcomes can be contingent on a variety of factors including management decisions, abiotic factors, and landscape setting. The spatial scale at which the treatment is applied can also impact management outcomes,...
Article
On any given day, one can go to the Chronicle of Higher Education and see a new article on the trials and tribulations of publishing and seeking tenure in academia. Anxiety inducing titles such as “Measuring Up” and “The Stress of Academic Publishing” reaffirm the notion that one must publish, or perish. While this type of pressure pushes some to s...
Article
Full-text available
The article Spatial and Temporal Variation in Brackish Wetland Seedbanks: Implications for Wetland Restoration Following Phragmites Control, written by Eric L. G. Hazelton, Rebekah Downard, Karin M. Kettenring, Melissa K. McCormick, and Dennis F. Whigham, was originally published electronically.
Article
Great Salt Lake (GSL) wetlands provide vital ecosystem services, including habitat for migratory birds. Alkali bulrush (Bolboschoenus maritimus) plays an important role in providing these services, but invasion by Phragmites australis has reduced the extent of alkali bulrush stands in GSL wetlands. Restoring alkali bulrush is a primary goal for GSL...
Article
Cryptic invaders are inherently difficult to study due to morphological similarity with native lineages of the same species or genus. Wetland and riparian systems are particularly prone to plant invasions, and have been impacted by a number of widespread cryptic invaders such as Phalaris arundinacea (reed canarygrass). Here we combine molecular gen...
Article
The appropriate sourcing of seeds for restoration is critical for establishing foundational plant species that support ecosystem functions and services. Genetic analyses of such species can yield insights into patterns of genetic diversity and structuring to inform seed collections. Here we document, for three foundational bulrush species, distinct...
Article
Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) uses biodiversity and ecosystem services to reduce climate change impacts to local communities. Because plants can alleviate the abiotic and biotic stresses of climate change, purposeful plant choices could improve adaptation. However, there has been no systematic review of how plants can be applied to alleviate eff...
Article
The relative importance of sexual vs. asexual propagules in wetland plant invasions is poorly understood, particularly for their importance in increasingly disturbed, resource-rich environments. Using the invasive wetland grass Phragmites australis as a model, we evaluated the resource needs of its seeds and rhizome fragments. In a greenhouse exper...
Article
Managers of invasive species consider the peer-reviewed literature only moderately helpful for guiding their management programs. Though this "knowing-doing gap" has been well-described, there have been few efforts to guide scientists in how to develop useful and usable science. Here we demonstrate how a comprehensive survey of managers (representi...
Article
Full-text available
Phragmites australis is a cosmopolitan grass and often the dominant species in the ecosystems it inhabits. Due to high intraspecific diversity and phenotypic plasticity, P. australis has an extensive ecological amplitude and a great capacity to acclimate to adverse environmental conditions; it can therefore offer valuable insights into plant respon...
Article
Full-text available
Chesapeake Bay tidal wetlands are experiencing a broad-scale, aggressive invasion by the non-native, clonal grass Phragmites australis. The grass is often managed with herbicides in efforts to restore native plant communities and wildlife habitat. Management efforts, however, can act as a disturbance, resulting in increased light availability, pote...
Article
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Spread rates of invasive plant species depend heavily on variable seed/seedling survivorships over various habitat types as well as on variability in seed dispersal induced by rapid transport of propagules in open areas and slow transport in vegetated areas. The ability to capture spatial variability in seed survivorship and dispersal is crucial to...
Article
Limited knowledge of seed dormancy break, germination requirements, and intraspecific variation of these traits hinders revegetation of many species targeted for restoration. We evaluated the importance of cold stratification and chemical scarification for breaking seed dormancy and the impact of soaking in water on germination for three globally d...
Article
Nonnative invasive species are one of the biggest threats to biodiversity worldwide. In many cases the extent of the area invaded by an invasive species is so substantial that there are simply insufficient resources to control and manage the full extent of the invasion. Efficient use of resources and best management practices are critical for achie...
Article
The introduced grass Phragmites australis (hereafter Phragmites) is one of the most widespread invasive plants in North American wetlands. Phragmites has been extensively studied in some regions of North America, such as the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes. However, little research has evaluated the extent of Phragmites invasion in the Intermoun...
Article
Water scarcity and invasive vegetation threaten arid-region wetlands and wetland managers seek ways to enhance wetland ecosystem services with limited water, labor, and financial resources. While prior systems modeling efforts have focused on water management to improve flow-based ecosystem and habitat objectives, here we consider water allocation...
Article
Full-text available
The dynamics of plant invasions from initial colonization through patch expansion are driven in part by mode of reproduction, i.e., sexual (seed) and asexual (clonal fragments and expansion) means. Expansion of existing patches—both rate and mode of spread into a matrix of varying conditions—is important for predicting potential invader impacts. In...
Article
Full-text available
Restoration is normally conducted with the goal of creating plant populations that establish, survive, successfully reproduce, contribute to ecosystem function and persist in the long term. Restoration often relies on revegetation that, on large scales, requires agronomic increase of native plant materials. During this propagation process, restorat...
Conference Paper
One of the most critical goals in wetland restoration is to enhance or recover the multitude of ecosystem functions (ecosystem multifunctionality) rendered by wetlands. Previous research has not investigated the role of genetic diversity as a driver of multifunctionality in wetlands. In a mesocosm study, we evaluated how genotype richness in three...
Conference Paper
Great Salt Lake (GSL) wetlands have been intensively managed since the early 1900s, primarily through impoundment, to buffer wetlands against drought and maintain waterfowl habitat. To understand the impact of long-term impoundment and water level management, we developed and conducted a regionally-specific, vegetation-based condition assessment of...
Article
Bolboschoenus maritimus (alkali bulrush) is a globally distributed, clonal wetland plant. In the Great Salt Lake (GSL) Basin, USA, the focal region for this study, this species forms large, monotypic stands that provide critical wetland habitat for millions of migratory birds. I conducted a series of seed trait studies with B. maritimus seeds sourc...
Research
Full-text available
This extension document documents the intersection of western water law and policy with wetland management at the mouth of the Bear River.
Conference Paper
Wetland restoration and management is difficult in the Intermountain West, in part, because water is scarce and the links between hydrologic thresholds, drought, and wetland vegetation in this region are unknown. Climate change complicates matters by making water supplies more unreliable and wetlands prone to more frequent and extreme drought and f...
Article
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Several riparian plant community and streambank metrics were evaluated in 5 streams subject to grazing on public lands in central eastern Idaho. In this study, we evaluated 3 attributes associated with the ground cover on streambanks: percent cover of live vegetation, litter, and bare ground; and we evaluated 4 attributes that describe the vegetati...
Article
Species distribution models rely on the assumption that species' distributions are at equilibrium with environmental conditions within a region – i.e. they occur in all suitable habitats. If this assumption holds, species occurrence should be predictable from measures of the environment. Introduced species may be poor candidates for distribution mo...
Article
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2014. Adaptive wetland management in an uncertain and changing arid environment Ecology and Society 19(2): 23. ABSTRACT. Wetlands in the arid western United States provide rare and critical migratory bird habitat and constitute a critical nexus within larger social-ecological systems (SES) where multiple changing land-use and water-use patterns mee...
Article
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Successfully managing wetlands requires monitoring changes in plant community composition. We used remote sensing techniques to document the replacement of desirable native wetland vegetation with invasive species in response to catastrophic flood disturbance in the 1980s and to evaluate wetland vegetation management between 1998 and 2010. We condu...
Article
Disturbance and biotic resistance are important factors driving plant invasions, but how these factors interact for plants with different modes of colonization (i.e., sexual and asexual) is unclear. We evaluated factors influencing the invasion of nonnative Phragmites australis, which has been rapidly expanding in brackish tidal wetlands in Chesape...
Article
Full-text available
Studies on invasive plant management are often short in duration and limited in the methods tested, and lack an adequate description of plant communities that replace the invader following removal. Here we present a comprehensive review of management studies on a single species, in an effort to elucidate future directions for research in invasive p...
Article
common goals for restoration are (1) rapid plant establishment, (2) long-term plant persistence, and (3) restoration of functioning ecosystems. Restoration practitioners often use cultivars optimized for rapid plant establishment under highly disturbed conditions to achieve the first goal; locally adapted genotypes are championed for the second bec...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this research was to determine whether permanent and nonpermanent plots for describing riparian plant communities would yield the same results. This research was conducted at 4 streams in central eastern Idaho. Permanent and nonpermanent greenline plots (first perennial vegetation adjacent to stream) were sampled repeatedly from June to...
Conference Paper
By formalizing reciprocal relationships between practitioners and researchers, both restoration and science can be advanced. We use large-scale experimental restorations of Phragmites australis-dominated wetlands on the Great Salt Lake to demonstrate how science and restoration practice can be improved by (1) collaborating with diverse wetland mana...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The ultimate test of our understanding of ecological systems is not only whether we can predict the environmental impact of species and genetic diversity loss, but rather, whether we can regain biodiversity and ecosystem functioning through ecological restoration. Recent advances in the field of genetic diversity-ecosyst...
Article
When collecting seed for wetland restoration projects, it is important to understand the genetic diversity within and among source populations to balance the risks of inbreeding and outbreeding depression while maintaining genetic diversity to maximize adaptive potential. To inform future restoration projects, we investigated the patterns and struc...
Article
Full-text available
The Bear River is driven by a highly variable, snow-driven montane ecosystem and flows through a drought-prone arid region of the western United States. It traverses three states, is diverted to store water in an ecologically unique natural lake, Bear Lake, and empties into the Great Salt Lake at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge (BRMBR). People...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic diversity and reproductive mode can control whether an introduced species becomes invasive. Here we use genetic tools to compare the non-native, invasive Phragmites australis to its native conspecific, P. australis subsp. americanus, in wetlands of Utah and southern Idaho. We found striking differences in genetic structuring, population div...
Article
Natural and anthropogenic site characteristics play a role in determining the current distribution of invasive plant species. An understanding of these characteristics can be used to prioritize areas for monitoring and control efforts and to determine appropriate management actions to lower site invasion risk. We used species distribution models to...
Article
Full-text available
Aims: We use a regional comparison of Phragmites australis (common reed) subsp. americanus, P. australis subsp. berlandieri and introduced P. australis (possibly five sublineages) in the Chesapeake Bay, the St Lawrence River, Utah and the Gulf Coast to inform a North American perspective on P. australis invasion patterns, drivers, impacts and rese...
Article
1. A fundamental challenge to invasion ecology is to determine what factors cause an exotic species to spread rapidly long after the initial introduction. The increase of a resource (e.g. nitrogen) could trigger an expansion, but in other instances, species have overcome biological limitations (e.g. an Allee effect) like accumulating sufficient gen...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background/Question/Methods Invasive species cause substantial economic and ecological harm throughout the world. Species distribution models are one tool used to combat invaders by providing information about areas susceptible to invasion and highlighting anthropogenic factors that promote establishment. An assumption of distribution models is t...
Article
1. Invasive plants can reduce biodiversity, alter ecosystem functions and have considerable economic impacts. Invasive plant control is therefore the focus of restoration research in invader-dominated ecosystems. Increasing the success of restoration practice requires analysis and synthesis of research findings and assessment of how experiments can...
Article
Full-text available
In prairie wetland restorations, seeds may be limiting plant recolonization but this has never been quantified in the field. We evaluated the seed rain in restored and natural wetlands to determine if seed limitation constrains plant recolonization. We were particularly interested in determining whether Carex species, dominant vegetation of seasona...
Article
Full-text available
Carex species, common dominants of wet meadows and widespread in ecosystems in the northern hemisphere, seldom naturally recolonize drained wetlands following hydrologic restoration. We conducted a seedling emergence experiment with five Carex species in restored and natural prairie wetlands to determine if recolonization is limited by the suitabil...
Article
Summary1. A fundamental challenge to invasion ecology is to determine what factors cause an exotic species to spread rapidly long after the initial introduction. The increase of a resource (e.g. nitrogen) could trigger an expansion, but in other instances, species have overcome biological limitations (e.g. an Allee effect) like accumulating suffici...