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Ecological Relationships Between Landscape Change and Plant Guilds in Depressional Wetlands

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Abstract:Plant guilds used to measure the relationships between wetland plant community characteristics and landscape change around 31 depressional wetlands in central Ohio, USA. Characteristics of certain plant guilds within each wetland site are correlated with changes in: (a) area of urban land cover, forest, grassland, agriculture, and open-water in the local vicinity of the wetland; (b) inter-wetland distance; and (c) wetland size (area). Taxa richness is negatively correlated with inter-wetland distance for all plant guilds, except submersed herbaceous plants. Taxa richness of the submersed herbaceous plant guild (usually less than 20% of the total number of plant species at a wetland) is positively correlated with the area of open-water in the local landscape and with the area of the wetland site itself. Significant positive correlations also exist between the area of open-water in the vicinity of the wetland and the proportion of submersed herbaceous plant taxa at the site, the number of native submersed herbaceous plant species, the submersed herbaceous plant perennial-to-annual ratio, and the number of avian-dispersed submersed herbaceous plant species at a site. The results suggest that a) the dominance of submersed herbaceous plant species at a site is related to dispersal constraints between wetlands, and (b ) the relatively slower physiological response of woody plants to local landscape change may result in their contribution to greater,ecological inertia' in the plant community as a whole. For these reasons, relationships between the plant community and land cover change may not always be observed unless analyzed at the level of plant-guild.
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Citation:Lopez, R. D., C. B. Davis, and M. S. Fennessy. Ecological Relationships Between Landscape Change and Plant Guilds in Depressional Wetlands. LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY 17(1):43-56, (2002).
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Landscape Ecology Branch
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 08/02/2002
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Development of Landscape Indicators for Use in Regional Ecological Risk Assessments
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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