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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Madera, Robert [1], Stromberg, Juliet [2].

Novel plant assemblages along the highly modified urban Salt River in Phoenix AZ.

Ecosystem restorations often entail tree planting but restored areas are rarely monitored to determine if plants are forming self-sustaining populations.  Nested in the urban center of Phoenix Arizona the highly modified lower Salt River has diverged from its original structure to support guilds of species with different functions and strategies – varying in complexity across differing levels of restored habitat.  We ask, why are some remnant-planted species establishing while others are not?  As human-induced perturbations increase, are regionally-planted cultivated species more successful in maintaining populations than remnant species?  How do regeneration niches and adaptive traits differ between successful and unsuccessful plant species in the urban river?  Surprisingly, we found that recruitment was higher in unrestored sites than in restored sites for a few remnant planted species (Salix, Populus, Prosopis).  In actively restored and accidentally restored reaches (i.e., portions of the river watered by storm drains) we also found species from arid or semiarid regions around the world (e.g., Rhus lancea, South Africa; Acacia salicifolia, Australia; Vitex agnus-castus, European Mediterranean) that are planted cultivars in the cityscape. These species varied widely in abundance and recruitment success.  Based on analysis of plant traits and biogeographic history, we provide an explanation for patterns of abundance for novel assemblages of plant species along an urbanized river in the arid Southwest.

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1 - Arizona State University, School Of Life Sciences, PO Box 874601, Tempe, AZ, 85287-4601, USA
2 - Arizona State University , School of Life Sciences , 1151 S Forest Ave, Tempe, Arizona, 85287

Plant reproduction
plant ecology
functional ecology
functional traits.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC017
Abstract ID:812
Candidate for Awards:None

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