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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Lavin , Matthew T [1].

Patterns of vascular plant diversity suggest that the western North American sagebrush steppe is ecologically very stable: implications for restoration.

The extensive sagebrush biome has been heavily disturbed by cropping, grazing, construction, and human population centers. Yet, high native vascular plant cover occasionally resides in patches of sagebrush steppe. These patches reveal a plant diversity that is very different from that of the adjacent roadsides, croplands, and overgrazed rangelands. This difference is found not just at the species level, but also at the genus and family level. These physical disturbances are especially shaping patterns of phylogenetic beta diversity more than measures of alpha diversity. Plant diversity in high-native-cover sagebrush steppe contrasts most strongly with that of adjacent physically disturbed rather than fire-disturbed settings. This suggests that the sagebrush steppe is ecologically stable. The implications are that long-term stability of the sagebrush steppe, especially where plant productivity is low (e.g., Wyoming big sagebrush steppe), is important to successful restoration of this biome.

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1 - Montana State University, 119 Plant Bioscience Building, Bozeman, MT, 59717, USA

community phylogenetics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 47
Location: Clearwater/Grove
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 4:00 PM
Number: 47008
Abstract ID:766
Candidate for Awards:None

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