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21 April 2022 Examining Suitable Habitat and the Potential for Establishment of Introduced Epipactis helleborine in Southeastern Minnesota
Erin M. Hettinger, Benjamin P. Pauli, Moni C. Berg-Binder
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Abstract

Nonnative, invasive plant species have been notoriously problematic for many ecosystems by outcompeting native plant species and disrupting habitat for insects and other animal life. Within the last decade, a nonnative orchid, Epipactis helleborine L. Crantz (Orchidaceae), has become increasingly present in Minnesota and is considered invasive in some eastern states, including Wisconsin. This study provides insights into the presence and habitat preferences of E. helleborine in Winona County, in southeastern Minnesota. A large portion of Winona County lies within the Driftless region, which is characterized by bluff land and unique plant communities that have been greatly impacted by invasive species. This study used MaxEnt software to create a habitat suitability model for E. helleborine using six environmental predictors: elevation, slope, aspect, soil type, land cover, and distance to roads. The results were a model with high habitat suitability predictability with elevation and slope being the most important predictors, whereas other variables contributed little to the final model. The final model showed relatively small areas with high suitability, where management efforts should be concentrated. Based on the model, this species does not seem to be a substantial threat to areas of great conservation concern, such as southwestern facing bluff prairies.

Erin M. Hettinger, Benjamin P. Pauli, and Moni C. Berg-Binder "Examining Suitable Habitat and the Potential for Establishment of Introduced Epipactis helleborine in Southeastern Minnesota," The American Midland Naturalist 187(2), 148-160, (21 April 2022). https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031-187.2.148
Received: 5 November 2021; Accepted: 15 January 2022; Published: 21 April 2022
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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