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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Dolan, Rebecca [1], Stephens, Jessica [2].

Partial evidence of biotic homogenization in two peri-urban central Indiana, USA preserves.

Biotic homogenization, increased species similarity between disparate floras, has the potential to reduce species richness and phylogenetic diversity globally. Rare indigenous species are being lost through direct and indirect effects of land-use change while at the same time non-native species are increasingly spread by human-mediated transport. The effects are most likely to be felt in urban areas as the filters of the urban environment are predicted to operate strongly on remnant natural areas; yet quantitative data on changes in species composition of urban floras over the last few decades have rarely been reported. We used permanent plots to monitor herbaceous-layer plant species presence and coverage over a decade in two peri-urban nature preserves comprised of different forest community types in central Indiana, USA. Both study sites are nature preserves, one comprised of wet-mesic depressional forest, one of mesic upland forest. To look for the signature of homogenization, we predicted 1) loss in native species with fidelity to high quality habitat (based on Conservation Coefficient values), 2) reductions in species richness and diversity, and 3) increases in non-native species between surveys conducted in 1996/97 and 2007. Our results support only the third prediction. The number of non-native species increased between survey years, especially in the wet-mesic depressional forest where numbers went from zero to six, five of which are classified as invasive. Although no changes in community structure were found for either preserve, there was considerable change in species composition. Data gathered from permanent plots in additional urban areas are needed to further document potential signs of homogenization. Moreover, monitoring plots over the next few decades is vital as continuing urbanization meets global climate change.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Butler University, Friesner Herbarium, 4600 Sunset Ave., Indianapolis, IN, 46208, USA
2 - University of Georgia, Department of Plant Sciences, 2502 Miller Plant Sciences, Athens, GA, 30602, USA

biotic homogenization
invasive species
urban ecology
permanent plots.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:45 PM
Number: PEC027
Abstract ID:720
Candidate for Awards:None

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