Land-use and isolation interact to affect wetland plant assemblages

Elizabeth H. Boughton, Pedro F. Quintana-Ascencio, Patrick J. Bohlen, David G. Jenkins and
Roberta Pickert

This paper is an empirically based study looking at mechanisms of community assemblages and changes in species composition by comparing similar habitat types, specifically Florida wetlands, under different management regimes. The purpose of the study was to see if isolation was the main factor in native plant species decline. It found that although there isolation did impact native plant assemblages in semi-native pasture, in intensely managed pastures disturbance had a greater impact on native species. Interestingly, exotics where only impacted by isolation. This results indicate that in semi-native pastures native assemblage is dispersal based. Conversely, native assemblage is demonstrated more by species sorting in more heavily managed pasture. This paper gave a solid example of how communities demonstrate sometime surprising community assemblage patters.

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