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Coastal wetland vegetation along the Great Lakes differs strongly with latitude, but most studies of Great Lakes wetland condition have attempted to exclude the effect of latitude to discern anthropogenic effects on condition. We developed an alternative approach that takes advantage of the strong relationship between latitude and coastal wetland floristic condition. Latitude was significantly correlated with 13 of 37 environmental variables tested, including growing degree days, agriculture, atmospheric deposition, nonpoint-source pollution, and soil texture, which suggests that latitude is a good proxy for several environmental drivers of vegetation. Using data from 64 wetlands along the U.S. coast of Lakes Huron,...
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The importance of monitoring shrublands to detect and understand changes through time is increasingly recognized as critical to management. This dataset focuses on ecological change observation over ten years of field observation at 134 plots within two sites that are located in Southwestern of Wyoming, USA from 2008-2018. At sites 1 and 3, 134 long-term field observation plots were measured annually from 2008 to 2018. General plot locations were selected in 2006 using segments and spectral clusters on QuickBird imagery to identify the best locations for representing the variability of the entire site (one QuickBird image). Ground measurements were conducted using ocular measurements with cover was estimated from...
We analyzed the conservation status of 73 vegetation cover types distributed across a 1.76 million km2 region in 10 states of the western USA. We found that 25 vegetation cover types had at least 10% of their area in nature reserves. These were generally plant communities located at higher elevations and thus more commonly associated with national parks and wilderness areas. All but three of the remaining 48 cover types occurred with sufficient area on publically owned lands in the region to imply that transforming land management intent on these lands could also increase their protection. We also analyzed the level of protection afforded each cover type across its entire geographic distribution in the region. Most...
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Data were collected on the abundance of plants in a 10-year weeding experiment of garlic mustard, located at Trillium Trails Park in Pennsylvania. Garlic mustard was weeded annually to suppress its abundance, and the impacts of garlic mustard were measured based on the response of the plant community to garlic mustard weeding. Because garlic mustard is known to suppress mycorrhizal fungi, the mycorrhizal status of each plant species was determined and recorded. The experiment was arranged in a blocked design, where plots had subareas with and without garlic mustard removal. Cover of each plant species was measured as the average percent cover recorded in 18 2x2 meter quadrats with garlic mustard removed per plot...
Black greasewood (greasewood) and gray rabbitbrush are important shrub components of several plant communities throughout western North America. Land managers may view these species differently depending on their goals. Greasewood and gray rabbitbrush shrub communities may be invaded by several invasive plants including Russian knapweed, perennial pepperweed, hoary cress, halogeton, and several annual mustards. Metsulfuron and chlorsulfuron are commonly used for controlling these and other invasive plants, but little is known regarding their impacts on greasewood and gray rabbitbrush. Our objective was to quantify the impact of these herbicides on greasewood and gray rabbitbrush communities from both an efficacy...
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important root symbionts that can provide benefits to plant hosts, yet we understand little about how neighboring hosts in a plant community contribute to the composition of the AMF community. We hypothesized that the composition of the plant neighborhood, including the identities of both host and neighbor, would alter AMF community composition. We tested this in a glasshouse experiment in which a native perennial grass (Nassella pulchra) and three annual grasses (Avena barbata, Bromus hordeaceaous and Vulpia microstachys) were grown in two neighborhoods: conspecific monocultures and heterospecific perennial-annual mixtures. To identify AMF taxa colonizing plant roots, we used...
Large predators potentially can help shape the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, yet strong evidence of top-down herbivore limitation has not been widely reported in the scientific literature. Herein we synthesize outcomes of recent tri-trophic cascades studies involving the presence and absence of large predators for five national parks in the western United States, including Olympic, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion, and Wind Cave. Historical observations by park biologists regarding woody browse species and recently compiled age structure data for deciduous trees indicate major impacts to woody plant communities by ungulates following the extirpation or displacement of large predators. Declines...
The indirect effects of native generalist insect herbivores on interactions between exotic and native grassland plants have received limited attention. Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) is the most common exotic rangeland grass in western North America. Crested wheatgrass communities are resistant to colonization by native plant species and have strong competitive effects on native species, imposing problems for the restoration of native grasslands. Grasshoppers are generalist herbivores that are often abundant in Crested wheatgrass?dominated sites in the northern Great Plains. We conducted two experiments in a Crested wheatgrass?dominated grassland in western North Dakota to test the hypothesis that grasshopper...
Using a retrospective study of tamarisk removal sites across five states in the southwestern United States, we investigated (1) decreases in tamarisk cover; (2) the effects of tamarisk removal on vegetation; and (3) whether cutting or burning tamarisk has differing effects on plant communities. Our study provides an important first step in recognizing the effects of removing a dominant invasive species on meeting long-term goals of riparian restoration. We found that (1) both cutting and burning reduced mean tamarisk foliar cover by 82?95%, and this reduction was sustained over time. (2) Native foliar cover was 2- to 3-fold higher on tamarisk removal sites, but total foliar cover remained 60?75% lower than on control...
After a long period in which fuel loads were sparse, fire recently has occurred with high frequency in the ungrazed riparian zone of the Upper San Pedro River in southern Arizona’s Chihuahuan Desert. We studied four accidental fires that occurred during 1994–2003 (two in different years at the same site). Woody vegetation was contrasted between three burned sites and matched spatial controls, and before and after the most recent fire. Herbaceous vegetation was sampled in multiple years producing a chronosequence of time since fire (from 4 months to 8 years). Riparian fire was associated with reductions in woody plant species diversity and canopy cover. In contrast, fire caused a short-term (2 year) pulse of...


    map background search result map search result map Long-term field observation of shrubland ecosystem in Wyoming, USA from 2008-2018 Data on the impacts of garlic mustard from a weeding experiment in Pennsylvania 2006-2016 Data on the impacts of garlic mustard from a weeding experiment in Pennsylvania 2006-2016 Long-term field observation of shrubland ecosystem in Wyoming, USA from 2008-2018