Abstract Detail


McShane, Cole [1], Donnelly, Anna [2], Holland, Marjorie [3], Jolles, Diana [4].

General Trends in Species Richness, Evenness and Diversity from Three Mile Island, Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire.

In the late 1970’s, a team of scientist campers led by Dr. Holland designed a long term vegetation study on Three Mile Island in New Hampshire's largest lake, Lake Winnipesaukee. This study aimed to observe changes in the vascular plant species in an insular New England mixed conifer-deciduous forest that has experienced recreational use for the last century. We summarized understory and overstory vegetation changes across five decades of sampling on the island in light of the most recent sampling in 2021. We documented variance and direction of change in species richness, abundance, and evenness from a set of 19 permanent plots. While some species increased in abundance and evenness over time, others decreased. For example, we observed sequential shifts from Pteridium aquilinum being the dominant understory species to Aralia nudicaulis and Maianthemum species over the course of 40 years. This is accompanied by shifts in the overstory plant species composition as well. The information collected during the 2021 sampling will help us address trends over the past 40 years and make predictions on what the island’s vegetation will look like in 2031. The results of this study can be used to inform future changes to the current land use plan on Three Mile Island, to better understand successional patterns in New England, and to more specifically address changes unique to island systems.

1 - Plymouth State University, Department of Biological Sciences, 17 High Street, Plymouth, NH, Plymouth, NH, 03264, USA
2 - Plymouth State University, Department of Biological Sciences, 17 High Street, Plymouth, NH, Plymouth, NH, 03264, United States
3 - University of Mississippi, Department of Biology, P.O. box 1848, University, MS, University, MS, 38677, USA
4 - Plymouth State University, Biological Sciences, 17 High Street, Msc 48, Plymouth, NH, 03264, United States

climate change
community ecology
Island Ecology
long term
New England

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PEC019
Abstract ID:832
Candidate for Awards:Phytochemical Best Poster Award

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