Abstract

Peatland communities in the sub-boreal region of Minnesota and western Wisconsin were characterized by floristic composition, structure and environmental characteristics to determine the natural variation among peatland communities in the region and their shared associations with the boreal and temperate peatlands of North America. Floristic classification revealed five, distinct peatland community types, identified as Sphagnum Bogs, Herbaceous Fens, Forested Fens, Rich/Calcareous Fens and Phalaris anrundinacea dominated peatlands. Differences among sub-boreal peatlands largely reflected changes in the significant indicator and dominant plant species identified, which were found to exhibit high fidelities to a particular peatland community type. Floristic variations among sub-boreal peatlands were observed to correlate with changes in pore-water chemistry along a strong pH-alkalinity gradient. Ordinal analysis by non-metric multidimensional scaling also indicated a strong community association with soil and pore-water chemistry, which primarily reflected the geomorphic and hydrologic settings in which communities developed and the transitional nature of the region. In addition, the broad physiological tolerance and invasive nature of P. anrundinacea was found to pose a substantial threat to the biodiversity and ecological functioning of sub-boreal peatland communities.

Advisor

Bradley J. Cook

First Committee Member

Thomas Malterer

Second Committee Member

Robert Sorensen

Date of Degree

2011

Language

english

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biological Sciences

College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.