The Impact of Recreation on Texas Wild-Rice




Breslin, Shannon L.

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Texas wild-rice (Zizania texana Hitchcock) (TWR) is a perennial, emergent, aquatic grass currently known only from the upper 2.5 kilometers of the San Marcos River in Hays County, Texas. This endemic species is listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service due to its restricted distribution, decline in abundance, and failure to reproduce sexually in the wild. The upper portion of the San Marcos River (SMR) is a popular recreational venue. Due to the extremely limited distribution of TWR, contact between recreationists and individual stands is inevitable. This study recorded and analyzed the amount and intensity of contact that tubing, swimming, boating, fishing, and dogs had with TWR within six transects along the SMR over 13 sampling periods during 1996. Overall, visible damage occurred with 1.92% of observed contact. Contact without visible damage was observed in 12.55% of cases. However, of the damage that occurred, tubing had the highest total amount and dogs had the highest level proportionately. The majority of all activity and damage occurred in the early afternoon and during the summer months.



Zizania, wild rice, aquatic plants, recreation, San Marcos River


Breslin, Shannon L. (1997). The impact of recreation on Texas wild-rice (Unpublished thesis). Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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