Oct
25

Webinar on Dune Plants

When
October 25, 2022 - 6:00 PM
Where
Online
Sponsors
CoastWatch

Botanist Dr. Sally Hacker in the field.
Botanist Dr. Sally Hacker in the field.

On Tuesday, Oct. 25th at 6 p.m., CoastWatch will be hosting a webinar entitled "Plant Life of the Oregon Dunes: Past, Present & Future," featuring Dr. Sally Hacker and Ian Silvernail.

CoastWatch's fall bioblitz resulted in some great observations of dune plants including sand verbena and searockets. Mostly what one sees while walking through the dunes however, are grasses. Nearly a century ago, two non-native invasive dune grasses (European beachgrass Ammophila arenaria and American beachgrass A. breviligulata) were intentionally planted along the Pacific coast to stabilize sand and build foredunes. One of the consequences of the introduction of these grasses is a changing plant community and the decline of native plants. Sally Hacker will open the presentation with a brief history of dunes and the invasion of beachgrasses and its consequences. 

While heavily degraded, Oregon’s dunes still host a diverse native plant community, with many of the species occurring only on dunes. Effective ecological restoration often involves revegetation with native plant species. Currently there is very little commercial availability of native dune plants, nor has there been wide practice with growing many of these plants, greatly hindering our ability to plant them on ecological restoration sites. Ian will describe native dune plant communities and share from an ongoing project to learn how to grow them to support the production of plants and seeds for use in restoration work.

About Dr. Sally Hacker: "Dr. Sally D. Hacker is Professor of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University where she has been a faculty member since 2004. She is a coastal ecologist interested in natural and managed systems and has studied coastal dune ecosystems for over 15 years. Her research explores the interaction between dune grasses and coastal geomorphology and the role of dunes in delivering ecosystem services, including coastal protection and conservation in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Hacker and her students have explored how the functional morphology of dune grass species influence sand capture, dune shape, and coastal protection both today and under climate change. They have studied how species interactions, sand deposition, marine nutrients, hybridization, and warming all affect dune grass production and dune building in field and in mesocosm experiments. Finally, Hacker has collaborated with other coastal scientist around the world to determine the services of coastal ecosystems and their usefulness in coastal management."

About Ian Silvernail: "For the last twenty years, Ian has worked with a variety of non-profit organizations, government agencies, and small businesses dedicated to pursuits in botany and native plant horticulture, conservation, ecological education, and sustainable agriculture. He currently serves as a Conservation Agronomist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service at the Corvallis Plant Materials Center, working on the very broad topic of how to use plants to solve natural resource challenges. This includes propagating and farming native plants for use in ecological restoration, working on soil health-based management for agricultural systems, assessing plants for use in pasture and agroforestry systems, and supporting pollinator resource projects. One current project involves figuring out the ins and outs of growing native dune plants to support restoration work. At home, Ian and his family operate a pasture and forest-based livestock farm in the Coast Range Mountains, where their goals include managing for biological diversity and soil health. This dual interest and experience in conservation and agriculture guides Ian day to day in his decision-making on whatever piece of ground he is standing on."

This event is free and open to all. To register, go here.