Duvall, Melvin R.
M.S. (Master of Science)
Department of Biological Sciences
Over the course of ecological restoration efforts, it has been observed that, despite restoration activities, species richness sometimes declines in a given habitat. While this response can be interpreted to mean that restoration activities are ineffective, other measures known as Phylogenetic Diversity Metrics can show that the community is actually becoming more diverse. Utilizing plant inventories collected as transect data from 1992-2021 of five wetland sites under various types of restoration in northern Illinois, a regional wetland community phylogeny was assembled. The community phylogeny was then analyzed for phylogenetic diversity measures through this 30-year period across the five sites. Additionally, water sampling was performed on the five properties for analyses of water chemistry. Linearized regression analyses were performed on the phylogenetic diversity metrics. Two of the three metrics showed significant increases in spite of a slight decrease in species richness through time. Additionally, species lists showed a decrease in percent non-native species over time. One of the active measures of restoration across the five wetland sites was the removal of non-native species, consistent with the finding that the proportion of native to non-native plant species was generally increasing through time. This correlation with increasing phylogenetic diversity metrics suggests that restoration activities have some degree of targeted effectiveness on wetland plant communities.
Foster, Nicholas T., "Wetland Restoration Efforts Result in increasing Phylogenetic Diversity" (2022). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 7039.
Northern Illinois University
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