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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Hackett, Rachel [1], Karbowski, Hillary [2], Monfils, Anna [3].

Prairie fen plant biodiversity: the influence of landscape factors on plant community assemblages.

Prairie fens are some of the most ecologically unique and biodiverse ecosystems in the temperate region. These wetland systems have high levels of biodiversity,provide habitat for over 35 state and/or federally listed species, are often headwaters to hydrological systems, impart important functions in watershed filtration,and, as peat-based systems, act as carbon sinks. Prairie fen ecosystems face natural and human induced threats of fragmentation, hydrological alteration,nutrient loading, exotic invasion, fire suppression, and succession. Throughout their limited range in the glaciated Upper Midwest, conservation and restoration efforts are underway to preserve plant and animal biodiversity and hydrological functions of these threatened systems. The goal of this prairie fen research is to assess the degree of influence of several site- and landscape-level factors on plant diversity, functional groups, and community quality. Fieldwork has been initiated to examine plant communities; data analysis includes native and exotic plant species richness, relative abundance, Shannon's Diversity Index,functional group diversity, and Floristic Quality Index. For each prairie fen site, biochemical tests have been conducted for site-level conditions of water quality (temperature, dissolve oxygen, conductivity, pH, nitrates, nitrites,and orthophosphate levels) and soil chemistry (total nitrogen, available nitrogen, in situ nitrogen, available phosphorus, soil organic matter, and pH).The landscape factors considered include prairie fen area, shape, isolation,and land cover at several intervals (fen boundary to 100m, 500m, 1000, 5000mand the watershed boundary). Analysis has begun to investigate correlations between plant assemblage characteristics with site-level and landscape-level factors. Multivariate techniques and multiple linear regressions have been used to determine possible influences of these factors. A preliminary analysis of the correlations between the landscape conditions and prairie fen species richness and Floristic Quality Index are completed.This research could provide valuable information to contribute to the preservation and conservation of the threatened plant communities of prairie fens.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Central Michigan University, Department Of Biology, Brooks Hall 217, Mount Pleasant, MI, 48859, USA
2 - Central Michigan University, Biology, Brooks Hall 217, Mount Pleasant, MI, 48859, USA
3 - Central Michigan University, 180 Brooks Hall, Mount Pleasant, MI, 48859, USA

prairie fen
landscape ecology
plant communities
habitat quality
water quality
Floristic Quality Index
Species richness
land cover

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:45 PM
Number: PEC021
Abstract ID:642

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