The University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) was founded in 1909.
Multidecadal shifts in forest plant diversity and community composition across glacial landforms in northern lower Michigan, USA
|Multidecadal shifts in forest plant diversity and community composition across glacial landforms in northern lower Michigan, USA
|Year of Publication
|Ricart RD, Pearsall DR, Curtis PS
|Canadian Journal of Forest Research
|126 - 135
Understanding how plant community assemblage is affected by spatial and temporal patterns is crucial to understanding forest ecosystem responses to disturbance, including future climate change. In this article, we tracked how diversity and composition are distributed through space and time in a midsuccessional mixed hardwood forest in northern lower Michigan, United States. This region’s geographically and abiotically distinct glacial landforms influence both the spatial and temporal dynamics of its forest communities. Vegetation sampling plots (n = 87) were established at the University of Michigan Biological Station in 1990 and resampled in 2015. Vegetation in the overstory, sapling, and groundcover layers was censused. Abiotic variables, including elevation, pH, and soil nutrients, were measured in a subset of plots (n = 40). There were strong differences in diversity and community composition among glacial landforms, with the moraine having a 31% greater species richness in the groundcover layer compared with those of the other glacial landforms. Surprisingly, plant communities across all three vegetation layers showed little change over the 25-year period, and we found no evidence of differences in successional rates among glacial landforms. Our findings indicate that glacial landforms have a large influence on the production and maintenance of local plant diversity and community composition in this area and suggest that successional dynamics may manifest themselves over much longer time periods in these northern biomes.
|Can. J. For. Res.