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Floristic quality assessment of grassy slough preserve in Johnson County, Illinois

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Title: Floristic quality assessment of grassy slough preserve in Johnson County, Illinois
Author(s): Kerber, Angela J.
Advisor(s): Dawson, Jeffrey O.
Department / Program: Natural Res & Env Sci
Discipline: Natural Res & Env Sciences
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.S.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): Grassy Slough Preserve Johnson County
Abstract: In the Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley (LMRAV), which stretches from southern Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 7 million hectares of bottomland hardwood forest have been converted to agricultural production. Approximately 750,000 hectares of the eastern United States have been replanted or contracted for replanting into tree species. There are few studies published on woody species composition during the earliest stages of old field succession in bottomland forest, and even less old field succession focusing on the herbaceous as well as the woody component in bottomland areas within the LMRAV. The Nature Conservancy purchased a 1,155-hectare farm within the northern tip of the LMRAV in the summer of 1999 and converted it into Grassy Slough Preserve. An objective of this study was to acquire baseline information in one growing season two to three years after cultivation ceased on the herbaceous and woody species occupying Grassy Slough Preserve in 2001 and 2002. Another objective of this study was to record any detectable spatial trends in non-native, invasive species colonization. A total of 153 vascular plant species in 57 families were observed during the growing seasons of 2001 and 2002. The largest family was Asteraceae with 28 species, followed by Poaceae with 16 species. The frequency distribution of Coefficient of Conservatism (CC) at the preserve shows that most taxa present are either non-native or native with a low CC value between 0 and 3. The nonparametric Kruskall-Wallis test showed that except for one lateral transect, the lateral transects within their respective transects are not significantly different from one another. The general trend at Grassy Slough was annual and biennial forbs dominating after abandonment, but the site has not yet succeeded into the perennial plant stage.
Issue Date: 2011-01-14
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/18230
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Angela J. Kerber
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-01-14
Date Deposited: December 2
 

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