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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Post-project appraisals of constructed vernal pools in Solano County, California


We conducted post project appraisals for two vernal pool restoration projects in Solano County within the Elsie Gridley Mitigation Bank and the Montezuma Wetlands. We collected and analyzed field data, including surveyed cross sections, soils information and general observations. We also analyzed existing hydrologic, soil, floral and faunal monitoring data provided by project managers and local monitoring stations. The two projects vary in terms of successes and challenges, which can be traced to specific design, implementation, and management techniques. Both projects are vernal pool construction projects and both use similar monitoring parameters including branchiopod, flora, water depth and water duration monitoring. The projects vary in timing, size, quantities of monitoring data, project goal and criteria clarity, design (pool density, soils and topography), and implementation methods (inoculation and planting/seeding). Data showed that pools between sites were gently sloping ranging from 9:1 to 63:1 and that pools varied in terms of location in the landscape, pool depths (5.3 to 15.3 inches), pool inundation, and floral and faunal conditions. In general, Montezuma Wetlands has design concerns that may inhibit the establishment of vernal pool hydrology in some created pools, in turn affecting other vernal pool functions. Elsie Gridley Mitigation Bank, requires more data to determine whether the project is trending towards success, and has various management concerns that should be addressed. Both projects will require further monitoring in order to determine whether success is being met.

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