Traditionally, wetland vegetation is introduced (or re-introduced) into an aquatic environment using two basic methods; plug planting and seeding. The SubmerSeed® Composite Seeding Technology was developed by AquaBlok, Ltd. as a means to address the limitations of these established propagation methods.
SubmerSeed particles serve as reliable vectors, delivering discrete packets of valuable seed to the location where they are intended to germinate and grow. The result: thriving colonies of color, beauty, and valuable habitat.
SubmerSeed is a composite-aggregate material made up of a dense aggregate core and viable wetland or aquatic seeds held in place with clay or clay-sized material and organic polymers. The technology provides an alternative to traditional means of plant propagation in wetland/aquatic settings, especially when faced with the challenges of establishing a favorable vegetative community in or near inundated conditions. The typical formulation of dry product relies on the nutrients available in the surrounding water and underlying sediment to support germination and nourish sustained growth. However, in certain instances, fertilizer-amended product formulations can also be made available.
SubmerSeed® use generally involves broadcasting dry masses of the product through water across the surface of the sediment (see Application Methods). Product coverage rates will vary depending on the species
composition and the site-specific requirements for the project.
Although variable, a rate of 1,500 to 2,500 pounds of dry product per acre (approximately 20 to 30 cubic feet dry product per acre) is a reasonable approximation of the quantity of material needed for a typical application. For smaller scale projects, this broad coverage range equates to an application rate of one pound of SubmerSeed for every 18 - 25 square feet to be sown with product.
Traditionally, wetland vegetation is introduced (or re-introduced) into an aquatic environment using either (or both) of two basic methods: plug planting and seeding. SubmerSeed composite technology has advantages over traditional seeding (broadcasting, drilling, hydro-seeding, etc.) in circumstances where accuracy and sustained seed placement are integral to the success of the project.
The reliability of SubmerSeed reduces the risk of seed loss (waste) by wave action, currents, or tidal forces, even when the seeds (often buoyant by nature) are in direct contact with water. Unlike traditional seeding methods, SubmerSeed is appropriate for seed introduction in inundated or flood-prone environments (provided the species selected is well adapted for germination and growth under such conditions).
The competitive advantage of the technology is particularly striking when costing large-scale (i.e., > 1 acre) installation projects. Additionally (and contrary to plug installation), SubmerSeed readily allows for both the introduction of a single species or a suite of desired species without significant additional labor.
SubmerSeed typically involves broadcasting dry masses of product through water and across the surface of the underlying sediment (or sediment cap, if lined with AquaBlok). SubmerSeed can be applied using commonly available equipment (hand-held broadcasters, tow-behind spreaders, seed slings, etc.) and, especially in smaller-scale installations, can simply be dispersed by hand. Even when access is limited, seeding can be completed from the air.
The focus, to date, has been primarily on plant species that make up what is known as the emergent community of freshwater habitats. As their name implies, these are species that growthrough the water, emerging from the surface to help bridge the gap between land and water.
These plants are at home in marshes, riverside wetlands, streambanks, floodplains, and the shorelines and shallows of ponds and lakes. Species incorporated thus far have been selected based on their ability to satisfy most, if not all, of the following criteria:
*Care is taken to match the geographic location of an application site with the native area in which the plant species would naturally flourish. In other words, species incorporated into the SubmerSeed® technology are intended to be native to the region to where the product is to be applied, and attention is given to match a potential site with appropriate plant species. Care is taken not to introduce invasive or overly aggressive species that can crowd out and dominate native vegetation.
For a list of additional species that could be appropriate for incorporation into the SubmerSeed technology, please visit ErnstSeed.com to view the extensive array of obligate (OBL) and facultative (FACW) wetland species available through Ernst Conservation Seeds. If you are considering the establishment of a specific species (emergent, submerged, or otherwise) and want to explore SubmerSeed as an alternative, please download and submit the questionnaire (using the icon above) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Title your message SubmerSeed Species Inquiry and we will be sure to respond as soon as we can.
Costs for implementing a SubmerSeed project will vary widely depending on a number of factors that will collectively dictate the most appropriate formulation, species composition, and method(s) for product installation for a given site and project. Seed availability and cost varies dramatically by species and is the variable that most dramatically influences the cost of the end product. Individual species can be priced, or mixes of species can be priced according to species composition. The extent to which the seed is treated (or not treated) also has a significant impact on end-user costs.
Material costs for individual species (assuming seed availability and a “standard” application rate of 1,750 pounds per acre) typically range from $1,000 to $8,000 (untreated or “non-stratified”) and $3,000 to $12,000 (treated or “stratified”). Costs for mixes vary dramatically based on composition, but can be designed to maximize performance at a cost-competitive price. More detailed project cost estimates can be provided by completing and submitting the SubmerSeed Questionnaire.
Mud (Water) Plantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica subcordatum) grown from SubmerSeed - approximately 100 days after product inundation (5 - 6" height).
SubmerSeed® is a composite-aggregate material made up of a dense aggregate core and viable wetland or aquatic
seeds held in place with clay or clay-sized material and organic polymers.