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Schell, Lisa D

We used multiscale plots to sample vascular plant diversity and soil characteristics in and adjacent to 26 long-term grazing exclosure sites in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota, USA. The exclosures were 7?60 yr old (31.2 � 2.5 yr, mean � 1 se). Plots were also randomly placed in the broader landscape in open rangeland in the same vegetation type at each site to assess spatial variation in grazed landscapes. Consistent sampling in the nine National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, and other management units yielded data from 78 1000-m2 plots and 780 1-m2 subplots. We hypothesized that native species richness would be lower in the exclosures than in grazed sites, due to competitive exclusion in the absence of...
Some theories and experimental studies suggest that areas of low plant species richness may be invaded more easily than areas of high plant species richness. We gathered nested-scale vegetation data on plant species richness, foliar cover, and frequency from 200 1-m2 subplots (20 1000-m2 modified-Whittaker plots) in the Colorado Rockies (USA), and 160 1-m2 subplots (16 1000-m2 plots) in the Central Grasslands in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Minnesota (USA) to test the generality of this paradigm. At the 1-m2 scale, the paradigm was supported in four prairie types in the Central Grasslands, where exotic species richness declined with increasing plant species richness and cover. At the 1-m2 scale, five forest...
Studies to identify gaps in the protection of habitat for species of concern have been inconclusive and ham- pered by single-scale or poor multi-scale sampling methods, large minimum mapping units (MMU?s of 2 ha to 100 ha), limited and subjectively selected field observations, and poor mathematical and ecological models. We overcome these obstacles with improved multi-scale sampling techniques, smaller MMU?s (< 0.02 ha), an unbiased sampling design based on double sampling, improved mathematical models including species-area curves corrected for habitat heterogeneity, and geographic information system-based ecological models. We apply this landscape analysis approach to address resource issues in Rocky Mountain...
Only a small portion of any landscape can be sampled for vascular plant diversity because of constraints of cost (salaries, travel time between sites, etc.). Often, the investigator decides to reduce the cost of creating a vegetation map by increasing the minimum mapping unit (MMU), and/or by reducing the number of vegetation classes to be considered. Questions arise about what information is sacrificed when map resolution is decreased. We compared plant diversity patterns from vegetation maps made with 100-ha, 50-ha, 2-ha, and 0.02-ha MMUs in a 754-ha study area in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, United States, using four 0.025-ha and 21 0.1-ha multiscale vegetation plots. We developed and tested species?log(area)...
We present a rapid, cost-efficient methodology to link plant diversity surveys from plots to landscapes using: (1) unbiased site selection based on remotely sensed information; (2) multi-scale field techniques to assess plant diversity; (3)mathematical models (species-area curves) to estimate the number of species in larger areas corrected for within-type heterogeneity; and (4) mathematical techniques to estimate total species richness and patterns of plant diversity in a landscape. We demonstrate the methodology in a 754 ha study area in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A.,using four 0.025 ha and twenty-one 0.1 ha multi-scale vegetation plots. We recorded 330 plant species (~1/3 the number of plants...
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