Flora of the Erie Islands: A Review of Floristic, Ecological and Historical Research and Conservation Activities, 1976 – 2010

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Title: Flora of the Erie Islands: A Review of Floristic, Ecological and Historical Research and Conservation Activities, 1976 – 2010
Creators: Duncan, Thomas; Brohl, Lisa; Kartesz, John; Oldham, Michael J.; Stuckey, Ronald L.
Issue Date: 2010-04
Citation: The Ohio Journal of Science, v110, n2 (April, 2010), 3-12.
Abstract: The purpose of this review is to survey the floristic, ecological and historical research about the Erie Islands and its flora since 1976 and to describe efforts to conserve Erie Island habitats. Island location records, surveys and multi-island inventories reveal that over 1,000 vascular plant taxa are known from the Erie Islands and new records continue to be found. Alvar habitats, rare globally, occur on the Erie Islands and are a focus of conservation efforts. Forest composition is primarily related to island elevation above lake level and moisture availability. Patterns of succession in abandoned vineyards and orchards are not the same due to differing agricultural practices prior to abandonment that favored different suites of invading species. Applying island biogeographic theory and methods to analyze the flora of the Erie Islands demonstrated that the indigenous flora on individual islands varies in relation to the size of an island in accordance with biogeographic theory whereas the non-indigenous flora on smaller islands is a constantly changing random subset of the non-indigenous flora of larger islands. Geological and palynological research about pre-settlement forests support the historic descriptions of these forests by early European settlers. Governmental and private efforts to preserve Erie Island habitats and the flora therein expanded significantly in the past 35 years. Efforts by the State of Ohio, the Province of Ontario, non-governmental organizations and island communities to acquire and conserve unique island habitats resulted in the preservation of important alvar, wetland and woodland habitat on large islands and the acquisition of Green Island, Middle Island and West Sister Island.
Description: Author Institution: Lake Erie Islands Chapter, Black Swamp Conservancy, Put-in-Bay, OH
Author Institution: Biota of North American Program, Chapel Hill, NC
Author Institution: Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario, Canada
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/52775
ISSN: 0030-0950
Rights: Reproduction of articles for non-commercial educational or research use granted without request if credit to The Ohio State University and The Ohio Academy of Science is given.
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