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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Perez, Amy Amanda [1], Kolp, Matthew R. [2], Chansler, Matt [3], Springer, Joshua C. [4], Prather, L. Alan [2].

A Preliminary Analysis of the Changing Flora of Baker Woodlot.

Local floras are dynamic. Introduced species invade, native species immigrate, and others undergo local extinction. While there is a considerable knowledge base regarding changes in tree composition in deciduous forests of North America, little is known about how total floristic composition, including herbaceous species, changes over time. A complete floristic survey of Michigan State University's Baker Woodlot, a 78-acre mesic beech-maple forest located on campus, was completed in the late 1970s. Baker Woodlot is a protected public natural area but is not managed in any way. The surrounding areas, however, have been altered and fragmented, leaving the woodlot as an isolated but largely untouched patch of forest. Over the last five years, an updated floristic survey has been completed to determine floristic change over approximately five decades. Within that time frame, species richness has decreased from 366 species to 355 species. A preliminary analysis has shown a decrease in native species and an increase in introduced species. These results are supported by similar studies that have also quantified proportions of native and introduced species in forested areas. Many native species were lost, but many were also gained, indicating that immigration can occur in these fragmented habitats. Some native species that were common fifty years ago have been lost, but most species that were lost were uncommon or rare fifty years ago. Ongoing changes are apparent, such as the loss of ash species because of emerald ash borer. The continued monitoring of this community, along with the comparison to other changing floras, will contribute to our understanding of how floras change over time and may help us predict future changes at this site and other deciduous forest fragments.

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1 - Michigan State University, Plant Biology, 612 Wilson Road, East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA
2 - Michigan State University, Plant Biology, 612 Wilson Road, East Lansing, MI, 48824, United States
3 - Michigan State University, Department of Plant Biology, 612 Wilson Road, East Lansing, MI, 48824, United States
4 - Purdue University, Biological Sciences, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 35
Location: Salon 6/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 8:15 AM
Number: 35002
Abstract ID:1199
Candidate for Awards:None

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