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Abstract Detail


Tunison, Robert [1], Culley, Theresa [2], Becus, Marjie [3].

Vegetational change during succession over 83 years as an old field reverts to a temperate deciduous forest in the Cincinnati Metropolitan area.

Many abandoned agricultural fields in the midwestern United States revert over time to natural forests through successional change. This gradual process, which happens over several decades, typically involves changes in the vegetational composition of the community – often from weedy, ruderal species to saplings and then to mature forest with a prominent shrub and herb understory. However within the context of a metropolitan matrix, the process of successional change is less clear as it may be affected by anthropogenic disturbances and invasion by non-native species. To examine the process of successional change within an metropolitan area, we conducted a long-term study of the Harris M. Benedict Nature Preserve, a 65-acre forest located today within a residential and commercial matrix in northeastern Cincinnati, Ohio. The site was originally pasture and secondary forest when it was originally purchased in the early 1920’s and then maintained by the University of Cincinnati as a natural preserve over the next 83 years. Surveys across four different transects were conducted in 1927, 1980, and 2010 to examine potential changes in species richness, abundance, and composition at the site over time. Overall, plant species richness decreased from 1927 to 1980 at which point it remained relatively consistent after the forest canopy had formed. In contrast, the number and dominance of invasive species at the site dramatically increased from 1980 to 2010. This study indicates that normal successional processes do occur within this site but they are also complicated by external factors within the metropolitan landscape.

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1 - University of Cincinnati, Biological Sciences, 614 Rieveschl Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 45221-0006, USA
2 - University Of Cincinnati, Department Of Biological Sciences, 614 Rieveschl Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 45221-0006, USA
3 - University of Cincinnati

vegetational change
invasive species.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Ecology Section Posters
Location: Exhibit Hall/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEC031
Abstract ID:716
Candidate for Awards:None

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