We are developing a standardized censusing protocol that can be used under a wide range of environmental conditions throughout California (and elsewhere), and is easy to use while providing a reasonable level of detail for doing rigorous comparative analyses. The following protocol is a ‘work in progress’, but is certainly usable in the present form and can be modified to account for local needs, such as including other species of concern or other land use elements, etc. If you are planning to conduct highly detailed surveys in your local watersheds, especially for monitoring eradication success, please contact me or another Team Arundo contact person regarding methods, topographical scales, and co-ordination with others doing similar work in your region.


Feel free to copy or download this form for your convenience, or to request a copy be sent or faxed to you. My address, etc. are listed below.


ARUNDO SAMPLING PROTOCOL (the Windshield Survey)


The goal of this sampling effort is to determine the general characteristics of plant growth and habitats, including factors which may promote or inhibit Arundo spread, and resources at risk. The distributional information will be catalogued into a regional/statewide mapping program to provide a comprehensive picture of the status of Arundo invasion, and a baseline to assess management efforts.

The protocol form includes general information useful for the larger effort; you can modify this to

create your own working data-sheet if there is additional information useful to you. We typically seek accessible riparian or wetland sites, often where a road crosses a stream, and take notes at the site. For a single stream with multiple access points, one might keep a single data sheet for general information, and then use extra sheets for information at specific sites. Keep in mind that some populations occur well away from wetland edges and are worth noting, esp. since they may be the planted material source for invasive material downslope. It is useful to have a topo map or other detailed map in hand and referenced to the data sheets. Please transmit a copy of your data to us at the address below so they can be incorporated into the statewide effort.


Following are some instructions regarding certain details of the protocol:

Location – road crossings, nearby landmarks, other siting info.

Jurisdiction – who owns and/or manages the sites (also local organization concerned with site)

Habitat type – river, stream, intermittent stream, pond, ditch, garden, etc.

Length of site – meters (or other measure) of habitat observed, to establish density per stream length

Gradient – may be estimated as qualitative steepness of stream, or expressed as % slope if possible

Widths – approx. distance across Floodplain (whole valley width); Channel (from recognizable bank

to bank, the standard riparian zone); Stream (ave. width of the actual water)

Channel form – e.g. downcut, wide channel bottom, vertical or broad banks; could draw x-section

Substrate – dominant sediment in channel: silt, sand, cobble, bedrock, wood, etc.

Hydrology – upstream dams, diversions, free-flow, spring-fed, agric. drains, etc.

Channel structures – physical elements that may promote Arundo (bridges, rip-rap, etc.)

Surrounding land-use – agriculture (type), residential, industrial, wildlands, forest, etc.

Riparian corridor width – how far vegetation extends on each bank from stream and bank edge

Riparian vegetation composition – major riparian trees, approx. abundance, understory plants, other exotic

species present, other notes regarding riparian condition

Hydro-geomorphic setting – where are clumps? in stream, sandbars, inside or outside meander

culms emerging from ground, new clumps, etc.

Abundance – estimated abundance in ecosystem segments, possibly delineated as the reach accessible or

visible from each sampling station (Habitat length); if possible, actual number of clumps is useful

Categories: 0 = absent (we have to keep track of where it’s NOT also)

1 = one to few isolated clumps

2 = scattered, fewer than 20 clumps/mile or 5 in a single 100 meter section

3 = common or major riparian element, 20 – 200 clumps/mile, or <25/100m

4 = dominant type, forming continuous stands in areas


Space is left at the bottom for any additional notes that you may deem relevant to the presence of Arundo. This space may also be used to draw a cross-sectional profile of the channel or site to indicate the typical locations of Arundo plants at the sites.


Please contact me with questions about protocol or other aspects of Arundo biology and mapping. Send datasheet copies to: Tom Dudley, Dept. Integrative Biology, U. of Calif., Berkeley, CA 94720-3140;; phone: 510-643-3021; fax: 510-643-6264.


ARUNDO SAMPLING PROTOCOL Directions on back [optional info is in brackets]

questions/info:; 510-643-3021


DATE ________________________

SURVEYOR (include contact info): ________________________________________________



USGS Quad. name and Scale ___________________________ Site number __________

Site name ________________________ County ____________________

Location _________________________ Jurisdiction _________________

[Co-ordinates, GPS locations] ___________________________________


Habitat type __________________________________ Length of site surveyed ________________

Floodplain width ____________ Channel width __________ Stream width __________

Gradient ________________ [Elevation] _____________ [Stream order] ___________

Channel form _________________________ Substrate ________________________________

Hydrology ___________________________ Channel structures _________________________

Surrounding land-use:

Space for cross-section profile

Riparian corridor width ___________________________

Riparian vegetation composition (incl. other exotic spp.):


Hydro-geomorphic setting:


ARUNDO STAND DESCRIPTION (circle appropriate choices)

Abundance*: 0 1 2 3 4 Approx no. of clumps at site ____________

Ave. max clump height: <6 ft 6-12 12-18 >18 ft Ave. distance betw clumps ____________

Growing in: Sun Shade Species forming shade _____________ Canopy ht. ___________

Vigor: Bright green Mature/faded green Yellowing Browned Dead

Branching: None 10% of stems (sparse) 50+% (common)

Reproduction evidence:

* See key (back) for category descriptions. If abundance category is 2 or less, you may want to use extra datasheets to characterize individual clumps, including plant height, circumference or length/width of clump, stem density, and details of each habitat/geomorphic setting.


Other pertinent environmental information (incl. control or mgt. activities):




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