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Abstract Detail


Little, Amanda [1].

Ephemeral Pond Plant Communities in Northwestern Wisconsin: A Comparison with Permanent Wetlands.

Ephemeral ponds (EPs) are small wetlands that typically dry annually. The vegetation of these wetlands in eastern and central North America is understudied. We compared permanent wetland (PW) vegetation to that of EPs in order to describe 1) important organizing environmental gradients, 2) functional group structure and 3) diversity patterns including shared species. We studied the vegetation and environment of 57 wetlands (32 EP, 25 PW) in the Chippewa Moraine region. Wetlands fell into three groups: EPs (n = 32), sedge meadows (SM, n =11), and lacustrine fringe wetlands (LF, n = 14). EPs had high nutrient levels, small area, and lower water temperatures compared to PWs. Both EPs and PWs were variable in water depth, pH, peat depth, and tree basal area. EPs had a higher proportion of woody indicator species (50%) compared to PWs (9.1%). Both PW types had a large proportion of graminoid cover, while EPs had higher proportions of annual, fern, and woody vegetation. Species richness guild structure was similar between the PWs but EPs had a significantly higher proportion of woody plants species. Both EPs and LFs had significantly lower site-level diversity than SMs. EPs had significantly higher among-wetland diversity than LFs or SMs. A large proportion of the dissimilarity was due to species turnover and not simply loss of species. The mean proportion of EP species that were also found in permanent wetlands was relatively low (~30%). EPs shared roughly the same proportion of species with SMs as they did with LFs. Although EP species in the glaciated Upper Midwest are not highly specialized or endemic, the EP plant community is relatively distinct from PW types and therefore worthy of conservation.

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1 - University of Wisconsin-Stout, Biology, 410, 10th Ave E, Menomonie, Wisconsin, 54751, United States

Plant Communities.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 31, Ecology Section - Population Biology
Location: 106/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Tuesday, July 24th, 2018
Time: 5:00 PM
Number: 31014
Abstract ID:402
Candidate for Awards:None

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