Recent Topics Posters
Weigant, Patricia , Seastedt, Timothy , Bennett, James P. .
Vascular plant diversity of mafic and felsic fellfields: A preliminary report of comparisons between sites at Niwot Ridge and Rocky Mountain National Park..
The Long Term Ecological Research Program of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research is attempting to establish the generality of findings from Niwot Ridge, a Biosphere Reserve located in the front range of the Rocky Mountains near Boulder, CO, with respect to larger high elevation systems. This project compared vascular plant diversity of felsic fellfields on Niwot Ridge to several mafic fellfields in Rocky Mountain National Park, 30 km to the north. Previous vegetation data existed for the felsic Niwot sites—five permanent “Saddle Grid” plots over granitic till. Data were collected during 2000 and 2002 near Milner Pass in the western part of RMNP for three fellfields, all comparable in elevation to those at Niwot Ridge except for their mafic parent materials--hornblende gneiss, amphibolite, trachyandesite, and basalt. Vegetation was sampled via the point-intercept method. Composited soil samples from 4 locations within each of the eight sites were analyzed for Ca, K, Mg, P, Al, B, Cu, Fe, Mn, Na, S, Zn, N and total organic carbon (L.O.I.). Results indicate that mafic parent materials do influence species diversity. Values for richness were higher for mafic fellfields (42-50 species) as compared to felsic fellfields (12-19 species) and positively correlated with pH and calcium level. Elements significantly higher at Niwot were total carbon, aluminum, iron, phosphorus, and sulfur. Elements significantly higher at RMNP were pH, copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and sodium. One site in RMNP—The Crater—had the most mafic parent material and was significantly different from all other sites for Mg, K, Mn, and Ca. These results are preliminary, with further statistical analyses of soil chemistry and identification of the lichen flora in progress.
Niwot Ridge LTER Home Page
Rocky Mountain National Park research links
1 - University of Wisconsin, Institute for Environmental Studies, 504 Walnut St, Madison, Wisconsin, 53726, USA
2 - Peace College, Sciences Division, 15 East Peace Street, Raleigh, NC, 27604, USA
3 - Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, CB450, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 80309, USA
Niwot Ridge LTER
Presentation Type: Poster
Location: Special Event Center (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
Time: 12:30 PM