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Factors limiting native species establishment on former agricultural lands

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Date Issued:
2012
Abstract/Description:
Restoration of abandoned, nonnative species-dominated agricultural lands provides opportunities for conserving declining shrubland and grassland ecosystems. Land-use legacies, such as elevated soil fertility and pH from agricultural amendments, often persist for years and can favor nonnative species at the expense of native species. Understanding the factors that limit native species establishment on abandoned agricultural lands can provide important insights for restoration and conservation of native species on human-modified lands. I conducted two field experiments on abandoned agricultural lands: a former pasture on Martha's Vineyard, MA and a former citrus grove at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR) in Titusville, FL. In these experiments I tested how soil chemical properties affect native and nonnative species abundance and how different methods of removing nonnative, invasive species affect native and nonnative species abundance. In the first experiment, specifically I tested how restoration treatments affect competition between existing nonnative agricultural plant species and native plant species that are targets for sandplain grassland restoration on Martha's Vineyard, MA. At MINWR, I examined how lowering soil fertility with carbon additions and lowering soil pH by applying sulfur affects nonnative species richness and cover (in two former citrus groves that were historically scrub/scrubby flatwoods. Overall, I found that biotic factors, such as competition with nonnative species, play a stronger role in limiting native species establishment than soil chemical properties. Likewise, control of nonnative, invasive species is most effective with mechanical treatments to physically reduce cover, rather than altering soil chemical properties.
Title: Factors limiting native species establishment on former agricultural lands.
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Name(s): Weiler-Lazarz, Annalisa, Author
VonHolle, Mary, Committee Chair
Quintana-Ascencio, Pedro, Committee Member
Neill, Christopher, Committee Member
Nickerson, David, Committee Member
, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Restoration of abandoned, nonnative species-dominated agricultural lands provides opportunities for conserving declining shrubland and grassland ecosystems. Land-use legacies, such as elevated soil fertility and pH from agricultural amendments, often persist for years and can favor nonnative species at the expense of native species. Understanding the factors that limit native species establishment on abandoned agricultural lands can provide important insights for restoration and conservation of native species on human-modified lands. I conducted two field experiments on abandoned agricultural lands: a former pasture on Martha's Vineyard, MA and a former citrus grove at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR) in Titusville, FL. In these experiments I tested how soil chemical properties affect native and nonnative species abundance and how different methods of removing nonnative, invasive species affect native and nonnative species abundance. In the first experiment, specifically I tested how restoration treatments affect competition between existing nonnative agricultural plant species and native plant species that are targets for sandplain grassland restoration on Martha's Vineyard, MA. At MINWR, I examined how lowering soil fertility with carbon additions and lowering soil pH by applying sulfur affects nonnative species richness and cover (in two former citrus groves that were historically scrub/scrubby flatwoods. Overall, I found that biotic factors, such as competition with nonnative species, play a stronger role in limiting native species establishment than soil chemical properties. Likewise, control of nonnative, invasive species is most effective with mechanical treatments to physically reduce cover, rather than altering soil chemical properties.
Identifier: CFE0004323 (IID), ucf:49462 (fedora)
Note(s): 2012-05-01
M.S.
Sciences, Biology
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): restoration -- land-use legacies -- nonnative species -- soil fertility
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0004323
Restrictions on Access: campus 2015-05-15
Host Institution: UCF

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