Abstract Detail


Betsch, Brody [1], Vincent, Michael [2].

54 Years of Floristic Changes at Rush Run Wildlife Area.

Floristic changes covering 54 years were studied at Rush Run Wildlife Area (RRWA), Preble County, Ohio. Mixed hardwood forests of RRWA have remained relatively untouched since its purchase in 1955 by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Events that have likely impacted RRWA over time are introduction of Dutch Elm Disease (DED) and Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Data collected in corresponding established plots in 1964, using the order method, and in 2018, using the point-quarter method, were used to assess changes in forest canopy and sub-canopy structure and dynamics since introduction of DED and EAB. Although American elm averaged an abundance value of 15.1% in 1964, none were found in the sub-canopy or canopy in 2018. This contradicts other studies in which American elms still persist in the sub-canopy. Paired T-tests (significance level 0.05) showed  that 4 canopy species have abundance values that changed significantly from 1964 to 2018: sugar/black maple (+22.5), green ash (-1.6%), chinkapin oak (+10.6%), and slippery elm (+4.1%). Analyses including dead standing ash species in 2018 showed that their loss had little impact on forest structure between 1964 and 2018 versus analyses with dead ash removed. When standing dead ash were included, 3 canopy species had abundance values that changed significantly: sugar/black maple (+16.0%), chinkapin oak (+10.1%), and slippery elm (+6.6%). Comparing 2018 data with and without dead standing ash showed that no species had a significant change in abundance other than ash species themselves, which had an average percent increase of 7.5%. Although EAB has caused near elimination of ash species from RRWA, there is no evident impact on other tree species at this time. Sub-canopy species found to have significant changes in abundance from 1964 to 2018 were bitternut hickory (-5.1%), chinkapin oak (-2.1%), and slippery elm (+16.1%). No dead standing ash were found in the sub-canopy so separate sub-canopy analyses were not performed. Although American elm was a dominant species in 1964, its elimination by DED seems to have only greatly impacted dominant species such as sugar/black maple, chinkapin oak, and slippery elm, which have increased in abundance. Loss of most ash species due to EAB is still too recent to allow speculation about how forest structure will change in the future, but initial results show that abundance of other species has not been impacted to date.

1 - 11617 New Biddinger Road, Harrison, OH, 45030, United States
2 - Miami University, Department Of Biology, Herbarium, 79 Upham Hall, 100 Bishop Circle, Rm. 79 Upham Hal, Oxford, OH, 45056, United States

Dutch Elm Disease
Emerald Ash Borer
Species Abundance.

Presentation Type: Poster 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: PEC007
Abstract ID:309
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Poster

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