Environ Monit Assess 2021 Sep 14;193(10):647. Epub 2021 Sep 14.
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave, Urbana, IL, 61801, USA.
Land managers need reliable metrics for assessing the quality of restorations and natural areas and prioritizing management and conservation efforts. However, it can be difficult to select metrics that are robust to sampling methods and natural environmental differences among sites, while still providing relevant information regarding ecosystem changes or stressors. We collected herbaceous-layer vegetation data in wetlands and grasslands in four regions of the USA (the Midwest, subtropical Florida, arid southwest, and coastal New England) to determine if commonly used vegetation metrics (species richness, mean coefficient of conservatism [mean C], Floristic Quality Index [FQI], abundance-weighted mean C, and percent non-native species cover) were robust to environmental and methodological variables (region, site, observer, season, and year), and to determine adequate sample sizes for each metric. Read More