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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2014

  • Title: Plant invasion dynamics at the former Petersham Country Club
  • Primary Author: Martha Hoopes (Mount Holyoke College)
  • Abstract:

    As management at the former Petersham Country Club (PCC) site shifts, we expect to see changes in community composition. Baseline data on plant species abundance, diversity, and distribution will assist in future management decisions but should also offer insight into underlying patterns that will help researchers to interpret invasion dynamics in the context of succession. Over the next five years I will collect data with Harvard Forest REU students and Mount Holyoke College students on the former PCC site and in adjacent woodlots to identify initial patterns of plant species distribution and movement of species between sections of the meadow and between the meadow and forest habitats. In the spring and summer of 2014 we will survey the surrounding woodland and grassland habitat for invasive plant species; establish transects across the PCC site to survey, census, and start monitoring aboveground invasive plant species; and collect soil samples to identify invasive plant species in the seedbank. The recent acquisition of the PCC site offers a unique opportunity to follow the trajectory as management changes. I am particularly interested in documenting invasion dynamics and potentially assessing the effects of propagule pressure in conjunction with different management and landscape features.

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