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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Shearman, Timothy [1], Martine, Christopher [2].

Long term comparison of wetland plant communities in Ausable Marsh, Clinton County, NY 1978-2011: Preliminary Results.

Plant community structure and composition can be altered for a number of reasons such as succession, invasion, or changes in climate or hydrology. This study seeks to identify community changes that have occurred over the past thirty years in Ausable Marsh, a large, complex wetland on Lake Champlain. Field maps of plant communities from a study in 1978 were digitized in GIS, where random nested plots were generated in each stratum identified. Preliminary results from the first of two field seasons (2010 and 2011) show that Sorensen's similarity index between 7 sampled strata and their 1978 counterparts varied. Overstory similarity was relatively high, with most strata over 60%. Due to lack of reference data, midstory and understory layers could not be compared in all strata. However, in those that could be compared, similarity was low (mostly under 40%) indicating that community changes may have occurred in these layers. Among the major changes were the spread of non-native species such as European frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae L.), which was not present in the baseline data, and purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria L.), which greatly increased its range in the marsh. Native species such as wood nettle (Laportea canadensis [L.] Weddell) and ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris [L] Todaro) also increased in abundance. The 2011 field season will provide more conclusive data regarding community change in the marsh. This project will set up a long-term research study that will enhance our ability to record and understand large-scale shifts in diversity and ecosystem function in wetland habitats of the Sixth Great Lake. It can also provide critical information in developing a management plan for non-native species in the marsh.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - SUNY Plattsburgh, Natural Science Graduate Program, 101 Broad St. , Plattsburgh, NY, 12901, USA
2 - State University Of New York At Plattsburgh, 101 BROAD STREET, PLATTSBURGH, NY, 12901-2681, USA

Ausable Marsh
plant communities
invasive plant
long-term comparison.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC007
Abstract ID:165

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