In 2010, most of the reach was heavily infested with non-native Phragmites ( Fig. 3); native Phragmites is not known to occur within the stretch of river covered for this study and therefore was not considered. Some samples were collected within short river reaches (2–10 km) that are located in bird sanctuaries, such as the Audubon Society’s Rowe Sanctuary. Those sites are heavily managed with bulldozing, plowing, and herbicide application Fasudil molecular weight to eliminate vegetation, particularly Phragmites, within the channel. The discharge of the Platte River varies widely on seasonal and interannual timescales, depending on weather conditions and management decisions. In 2010, flow conditions were “average” for
modern times. Monthly mean flow in July during sample collection was 69 m3 s−1 (U.S. Geological Survey, 2013). Local discharges varied between sampling localities,
depending on whether the river was locally more braided (more channels with lower discharge per channel) or less braided (fewer channels with higher discharge per channel). Sampling sites were all within the active PF-02341066 chemical structure channel, i.e., on islands or bank-attached islands within a major braid of the river and distributed along the 65-km reach in order to average over variable local channel conditions (Fig. 2). Unvegetated sites were necessarily close together because few were available. Each site was at least 15 m2 so that cores could be collected a minimum
of 1 m in from the bank and have a distance of at least 3 m from other Tangeritin cores within the same site. Three ∼30 cm subaerial sediment cores were collected at each site. Most of the cores (31 of 35) were collected from surfaces with elevations of <20 cm above water level in the channel. The goal was to minimize hydrologic differences between sites. However, four cores were collected from surfaces between 20 and 40 cm above water level because of site limitations. Cores were collected in a manner that ensured minimal sediment disruption. Immediately after collection, cores were sectioned at 10 cm intervals and sections were placed into individual specimen cups for transport to the lab. Standard loss-on-ignition techniques (Dean, 1974) were used to determine dry density and weight-percent of organic matter and carbonate of the sediments. To extract ASi, we followed the method of Triplett et al. (2008) to ensure complete dissolution of resistant phytoliths: dried sediments were digested in 0.2 M NaOH at 85 °C, with aliquots removed at 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, and 90 min. Concentrations of DSi in those solutions were measured as SiO2 on a Cary-50 UV–vis spectrophotometer as molybdate reactive silica, with standards ranging from 0.25 to 10 mg l−1 (Conley and Schelske, 2001, DeMaster, 1981 and Krausse et al., 1983). ANOVA statistical tests were used to evaluate the effect of presence and type of vegetation on ASi concentration.