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Abstract Detail

Floristics & Taxonomy

Soteropoulos, Diana [1], Marsico, Travis [1].

An exploration the vascular plants of Pine City Natural Area (Monroe Co., AR) and the Mississippi Alluvial Plain.

Due to biodiversity loss, it is imperative to document current community composition for conservation and preservation of ecosystems. A baseline of defining plant communities consists of developing a list of vascular plant species present in a defined unit area (i.e., a flora). Eastern Arkansas in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (MAP) ecoregion has historically been under-collected floristically, including the ecologically unique site Pine City Natural Area (PCNA). PCNA is home to the only Red-cockaded Woodpeckers in the MAP ecoregion, one of only two areas with naturally occurring loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) known from the MAP, and the only known saline barrens outside the West Gulf Coastal Plain ecoregion in Arkansas. Only 51 voucher plants representing 40 species had been collected from PCNA prior to this research. Here, we document one year of plant collection information for a two-year flora being conducted at PCNA from 2018-2019. In >30 site visits, >1000 additional voucher specimens were collected, >500 unique taxa identified, and >170 county records found, including 16 state-rare taxa tracked by Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and a species not seen in this ecoregion since the 1950s, Liatris hirsuta. It is astounding that ~30% of our collections represent county records when considering that PCNA represents 0.26% of the land area in Monroe County. Additionally, >20 species found at PCNA have not been documented in 11 MAP counties surrounding the site, and >25% of the species at PCNA are documented from <1/2 the surrounding counties. PCNA is truly a unique site in an understudied ecoregion.

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1 - Arkansas State University, Department of Biological Sciences, PO Box 599, State University, AR, 72467, United States

Natural Heritage Program
ecoregion bias
saline barren

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Floristics and Taxonomy
Location: Arizona Ballroom/Starr Pass
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2019
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PFT005
Abstract ID:286
Candidate for Awards:None

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