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Abstract Detail


Ecological Section

Burnham, Mark [1], McKnight, Karl [2], Quinn, Caitlin [3], Gerritsen, Alida [4].

Habitat characterization of northeastern woodland grasses.

Even though grasses have been studied extensively in grassland and meadow settings, there are few studies of these important inhabitants in the forest understory. To characterize the habitat of grasses at family, genus, and species levels, 1m2 plots were sampled for a variety of environmental and biotic variables every 10 meters along a 1,810 meter transect in Glen Meal State Forest, St. Lawrence County, New York. A total of 30 grass species were found flowering in the forest from late May through late July, 2008. Grasses were more common in brighter areas with shallow, nutrient rich soils, and areas with a lower hemlock presence. Poa species appeared significantly more often in wetter soils and Danthonia species were more common in drier soils. Through univariate and multivariate analyses, it was possible to separate individual species based on important variables, including soil depth and moisture, slope, percent of the living cover that is woody plants, and a variety of soil nutrient and chemical variables. Phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc, and copper were particularly important in separating species. Whereas Poa species tended towards nutrient rich soils, Danthonia species inhabited soils with lower nutrient content. Using the same variables, habitat differences between grasses and sedges was also characterized.


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1 - St. Lawrence University, Biology, St. Lawrence University CMR 1905, 23 Romoda Dr., Canton, NY, 13617, United States
2 - St. Lawrence University, Biology, 23 Romoda Dr., Canton, NY, 13617, United States
3 - St. Lawrence University, Biology, St. Lawrence University CMR# 2305, 23 Romoda Dr., Canton, NY, 13617, United States
4 - St. Lawrence University, Biology, St. Lawrence University CMR 2044, 23 Romoda Dr., Canton, NY, 13617, United States

Keywords:
Poaceae
Grass
ecology
northern hardwood forest
habitat characterization
Poa
Danthonia.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Session: 14
Location: Wasatch B/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 11:00 AM
Number: 14004
Abstract ID:592


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