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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Rollinson, Emily [1], Gurevitch, Jessica [1].

Abiotic factors underlying variation in composition of riparian plant communities.

Riparian plant communities are frequently described as more highly diverse than plant communities elsewhere in the surrounding landscape. We surveyed the species composition of riparian and upland plant communities along three small streams in the Upper Hudson watershed (NY, USA). We found that while riparian plant communities along individual stream reaches were not more species-rich than nearby upland plant communities, riparian zones harbored more species than uplands when considered at a regional scale. To examine potential environmental determinants of the species turnover among riparian plant communities, we conducted a broad survey of riparian plant communities along 53 small streams throughout the Upper Hudson watershed. We used canonical correspondence analysis to characterize the variation in species composition among locations differing in abiotic conditions. We found that environmental factors explained 24% of the variance among communities in species composition, with annual mean temperature and precipitation being the strongest determinants. Environmental variates were largely uncorrelated with particular plant functional groups, with the exception of a correlation between plant lifespan and annual mean temperature; abundance of perennial species was correlated with cooler annual mean temperatures.

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1 - Stony Brook University, Ecology & Evolution, 650 Life Sciences, Stony Brook, NY, 11794, United States

abiotic conditions
functional groups

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC008
Abstract ID:851
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Poster

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