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Evangelista, Paul H

The Grand Staircase?Escalante National Monument (GSENM) contains a rich diversity of native plant communities. However, many exotic plant species have become established, potentially threatening native plant diversity. We sought to quantify patterns of native and exotic plant species and cryptobiotic crusts (mats of lichens, algae, and mosses on the soil surface), and to examine soil characteristics that may indicate or predict exotic species establishment and success. We established 97 modified-Whittaker vegetation plots in 11 vegetation types over a 29,000 ha area in the Monument. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and multiple linear regressions were used to quantify relationships between soil characteristics...
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Many studies have quantified plant invasions by determining patterns of non-native species establishment (i.e. richness and absolute cover). Until recently, dominance has been largely overlooked as a significant component of invasion. Therefore, we re-examined a 6-year data set of 323 0.1 ha plots within 18 vegetation types collected in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument from 1998 to 2003, including dominance (i.e. relative cover) in our analyses. We specifically focused on the non-native species Bromus tectorum, a notable dominant annual grass in this system. We found that non-native species establishment and dominance are both occurring in species-rich, mesic vegetation types. Therefore, non-native...
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