Katama Plains Conservation Area Analysis of 1999--‐2014 Species Composition and Cover Data

Title: Katama Plains Conservation Area Analysis of 1999--‐2014 Species Composition and Cover Data

Author: Megan Wheeler

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Abstract: For this analysis, I considered species composition and cover data collected in 1x1 m plots in Management Units F (unit 3) and G (unit 1) of the Katama Plains Conservation Area from 1999 to 2014 (Figure 1). I compiled data from eight years of summer vegetation monitoring (1999, 2003--‐2008, 2014 in MU G; 2000, 2003--‐2008, 2014 in MUF). These areas have been burned regularly, with burn treatments in the spring of 1988, 1992, 1999, 2002, 2006, and 2010 in MUG and in 1989, 1994, 2000, 2005, and 2009 in MU F. Much of MU F also underwent topsoil removal in 1945. The primary purpose of this analysis was to assess how total sandplain diversity, guild cover, shrub cover, and rare species have changed over the monitoring period and with respect to burn treatments. Guild classifications for all species were as defined in the original data files. All averaged cover values were the average over all plots in a management unit, whether or not the species was present. Diversity was calculated using the Shannon--‐Weiner Diversity Index. Changes in total cover, species richness and diversity over time were evaluated with linear models of richness or diversity versus year and management unit. The significance threshold used was p = 0.05. All analyses were performed in R (version 3.1.2).