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1 October 2008 A study of the vegetation and floristic diversity of two peatland complexes of post-settlement origin in Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, Coos County, New Hampshire
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Abstract

The floristic diversity and vegetation communities of Leonard Marsh and Harpers Meadow, two peatland complexes of recent origin within the Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge in Coos County, New Hampshire, were investigated. The combined vascular floras of Leonard Marsh and Harpers Meadow consisted of 178 species, 111 of which occurred in both peatlands. The flora included two state-listed species, Eriophorum angustifolium subsp. angustifolium (endangered) and Listera cordata (threatened). Abundance and frequency data from 617 quadrats along 35 transects were analyzed by two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN) and resulted in the recognition of nine vegetation cover types (CT): Thuja occidentalisAlnus incana CT, the Picea marianaNemopanthus mucronatus CT, the Nemopanthus mucronatusAlnus incana CT, the Rhododendron canadenseNemopanthus mucronatus CT, the Rhododendron canadenseChamaedaphne calyculata CT, the Chamaedaphne calyculataCarex oligosperma CT, the Scheuchzeria palustrisCarex oligosperma CT, the Carex lasiocarpaChamaedaphne calyculata CT, and the Dulichium arundinaceumPotentilla palustris CT. A tenth cover type consisting of aquatic vegetation, the Brasenia schreberiPotamogeton spp. CT, was recognized based on qualitative field observations. Despite the recent formation of these peatland complexes following the construction of the Errol Dam in 1853, the vegetation composition of Leonard Marsh and Harpers Meadow shares broad similarities with peatlands in New England, the northcentral United States, and adjacent Canada. Leonard Marsh and Harpers Meadow are best classified as oligotrophic to weakly minerotrophic level peatland complexes occupying broad and shallow outwash plains. Historical records, botanical evidence, and patterns in basin topography suggest that terrestrialization and paludification have been critical processes in the post-settlement development of these two large peatland complexes.

Mare Nazaire and Garrett E. Crow "A study of the vegetation and floristic diversity of two peatland complexes of post-settlement origin in Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, Coos County, New Hampshire," Rhodora 110(943), (1 October 2008). https://doi.org/10.3119/07-13.1
Published: 1 October 2008
JOURNAL ARTICLE
49 PAGES


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