Skip to Main Content
Effects of dominant species on vegetation change in Carolina bay wetlands following a multi-year droughtAuthor(s): John M. Mulhouse; Diane De Steven; Robert F. Lide; Rebecca R. Sharitz
Source: Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 132(3), pp. 411-420
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (139 KB)
DescriptionWetland vegetation is strongly dependent upon climate-influenced hydrologic conditions, and plant composition responds in generally consistent ways to droughts. However, the extent of species composition change during drought may be influenced by the pre-existing structure of wetland vegetation. We characterized the vegetation of ten herbaceous Carolina bay wetlands on the South Carolina Upper Coastal Plain during a period of average rainfall and again near the end of a four-year drought. We hypothesized that, as a group, bays dominated by less robust plant species (characteristic of open-water pond and depression meadow vegetation types) would show greater compositional change than bays dominated by dense, robust-form clonal graminoids (characteristic of grass and sedge marsh vegetation types). Aquatic species decreased during the drought in all wetlands, regardless of vegetation group. Compared to grass/sedge marshes, pond/meadow wetlands acquired more species, particularly non-wetland species, during the drought. Pond/meadow wetlands also had greater increases in the abundances of species that require unflooded conditions to establish. Prior to the drought, all wetlands were ponded almost continuously, but during drought the pond/meadow wetlands had shorter and more variable hydroperiods than the grass/sedge marshes. Thus, vegetation change may be partly confounded with hydrologic conditions that provide greater opportunities for species recruitment in pond/meadow bays. The results suggest that Carolina bay vegetation dynamics may differ as a function of dominant vegetation and climate driven variation in wetland hydrologic condition.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationMulhouse, John M.; De Steven, Diane; Lide, Robert F.; Sharitz, Rebecca R. 2005. Effects of dominant species on vegetation change in Carolina bay wetlands following a multi-year drought. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 132(3), pp. 411-420
KeywordsCarolina bays, climate variation, depression wetlands, drought, plant colonization, succession, vegetation dynamics
- Golden trout habitat selection and movement patterns in degraded and recovering sites within the Golden Trout Wilderness, California
- Plant community responses to prescribed burning in Wisconsin sedge meadows
- Effects of chemical site preparation on herbaceous vegetation prior to hardwood plantation establishment
XML: View XML