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Abstracts, Reviews, and Meetings
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To develop the following abstracts, the editorial staff searches more than 100 scientific journals, professional and organizational newsletters, conference proceedings, and other resources for information relevant to ecological restoration practice and research. Please send suggested abstract sources to the editorial staff (ERjournal@aesop.rutgers.edu).

Grasslands

Cool Season Invasive Grasses in Northern Great Plains Natural Areas. 2013. DeKeyser, E. S. (School of Natural Resources, North Dakota State University Dept. 7680, P.O. Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, edward.dekeyser@ndsu.edu), M. Meehan, G. Clambey and K. Krabbenhoft. Natural Areas Journal 33: 81-90.

Despite conservation-oriented management, cool-season exotic grasses have invaded many native prairie sites in the northern Great Plains. This study compares plant composition of native prairie patches where grazing had ceased in 1976, 23 years before. The composition of several sites had changed from dominance of native graminoid species and forbs to dominance of invasive plant species including (Bromus inermis ) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis ). In drier sites, however, native graminoids and forbs remained dominant, with little change in cover proportion. The authors emphasize the importance of species composition changes initiated by prior land use, and the role of disturbances such as grazing and fire in maintaining native plant communities.

Woodlands

Dramatic Diversity Losses in Epiphytic Lichens in Temperate Broad-leaved Forests during the Last 150 Years. 2013. Hauck, M. (Department of Plant Ecology, Albrecht von Haller Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Göttingen, Untere Karspüle 2, 37073 Göttingen, Germany, mhauck@gwdg.de), U. de Bruyn and C. Leuschner. Biological Conservation 157: 136-145.

Industrialization affects ecosystems far from cities and factories. Lichens are particularly sensitive to air pollution, and logging to support demand for wood results in removal of arboreal lichens along with their substrate. In Central Europe, lichen diversity is also affected by replacement of hardwood forests with plantations of coniferous trees that are unsuitable to epiphytes of broad-leaved trees due to the acidity of their bark. The canopies of these plantations, especially spruce, are also much darker than native canopies, excluding many lichen species. Hauck, de Bruyn and Leuschner compared epiphytic lichen diversity in the 19th and early 20th centuries in semi-natural broad-leaved forests in northwestern Germany with recent inventories. They found strong changes in lichen diversity, despite little change in forest structure and tree composition. 55-70% of species became rarer during the 100-150 year observation period, and extinction rates were estimated to be 28-30%. Probable causes of decline include forest management that removes older and decaying trees, with associated loss of forest moisture, acid and fertilizing atmospheric deposition, and reduction in old trees that provide lichen habitat.

Understory Plant Community Responses to Hazardous Fuels Reduction Treatments in Pinyon-juniper Woodlands of Arizona, USA. 2013. Huffman, D.W. (Ecological Restoration Institute, Northern Arizona University, P.O. Box 15017, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5017, USA, david.huffman@nau.edu), M.T. Stoddard, J.D. Springer, J.E. Crouse and W.W. Chancellor. Forest Ecology and Management 289: 478-488.

Hazardous fuel reduction projects are being implemented across the western United States. To better understand the ecological responses of pinyon-juniper woodlands to these treatments, Huffman and colleagues measured cover of vascular plant species, biological soil crust, and forest floor substrate in thinned, burned, thinned and burned, and control plots in northern Arizona prior to treatment and 1, 2, and 5 years post-treatment. They found that after five years, thinned and thinned and burned plots had similar total plant cover, and both had greater cover than burned only and control plots. Cover increases in thinned and burned plots were primarily due to annual forbs and non-native species. C4 grasses had greater cover in all treated plots compared to controls. They conclude that fuel reduction treatments may not dramatically alter understory composition or abundance within five years, and that thinning treatments followed by prescribed fire led to increased cover of nonnative plants.

Wetlands

Interspecific Interactions Between Phragmites australis and Spartina alterniflora Along a Tidal Gradient in the Dongtan Wetland, Eastern China. 2013. Yuan, Y., K. Wang, D. Li (Key Lab of Urbanization and Ecological Restoration, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China, dzli@des.ecnu...



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