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Surveying the Forest Biodiversity of Evansburg State Park:Plant Community Classification and Species Diversity Assessment

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Author(s): Stephanie Young | Lindsey N. Swiacki

Journal: International Journal of Botany
ISSN 1811-9700

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 293;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: Biodiversity | conservation | deer overabundance | invasive species | Relative Importance Value (RIV) | successional

ABSTRACT
A field study was conducted in Evansburg State Park, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, in order to assess the impact of humans on the natural succession of forests and the diversity of plant species therein. Vascular vegetative growth was surveyed and the data collected was used to calculate Relative Importance Values (RIV) of the plants found in the study site. Using the RIV, the plant community type was determined according to the classifications outlined in the Evansburg State Park Resource Management Plan (Fike 1999) by the US Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The plant community type in the study site was determined to be that of a sugar maple/ basswood community. The change of this sugar maple/ basswood community over centuries of human involvement is considered. Human induced factors, such as the effect of invasive species, the creation of edge effects and agricultural use of land, are discussed with reference to the sugar maple/ basswood community.
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