Comparison of Plant Species Richness, Diversity, and Biomass in Ohio Wetlands
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science, v107, n3 (June, 2007), 32-38.
Wetlands are restored and created in many areas of the world to mitigate problems of flooding, pollution and loss of wildlife habitat resulting from urbanization and agriculture. Consequently it is important to understand the factors that determine wetland ecological function as expressed in terms of vegetation. Five different restored, created and unplanned wetlands of young age (1-9 years) in southwestern Ohio were examined for differences in plant species richness and diversity as well as biomass productivity of cattail (Typha spp.) and great bulrush (Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani). At all sites, the majority of identified plant species were native (77% to 88%), and nearly half of all taxa in each site were wetland indicator species. The proportion of volunteer species in each site ranged from 51% to 100%. Significant differences detected among sites in both species richness and diversity (Shannon-Weiner Index) were solely due to one of the created sites; significant differences were also obtained among habitat types (shore, emergent zone, and open water). In contrast to Typha, aboveground biomass of Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani differed significantly among sites but not inflorescence biomass. Overall, there were few differences in plant species richness, diversity or biomass among most restored, created and unplanned sites, suggesting that different methods of wetland formation may yield similar vegetative components within the early stages of development.
Author Institution: Dept of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati
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