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Latitudinal gradient of floristic condition among Great Lakes coastal wetlands

TitleLatitudinal gradient of floristic condition among Great Lakes coastal wetlands
Publication TypeManual Entry
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsJohnston, CA, JB Zedler, and MG Tulbure
JOURNAL OF GREAT LAKES RESEARCH
Volume36
Abstract

Coastal wetland vegetation along the Great Lakes differs strongly with latitude, but most studies of Great Lakes wetland condition have attempted to exclude the effect of latitude to discern anthropogenic effects on condition. We developed an alternative approach that takes advantage of the strong relationship between latitude and coastal wetland floristic condition. Latitude was significantly correlated with 13 of 37 environmental variables tested, including growing degree days, agriculture, atmospheric deposition, nonpoint-source pollution, and soil texture, which suggests that latitude is a good proxy for several environmental drivers of vegetation. Using data from 64 wetlands along the U.S. coast of Lakes Huron, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario, we developed linear regressions between latitude and two measures of floristic condition, the Floristic Quality Index (FQI, adj. r(2)=0.437, p

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