ABSTRACT

The forested wetland is one of the most common wetland types in eastern North America and has been subject to substantial changes in legislation, management, and climate in the past fifty years. Despite the predominance of wetland forests on the region's landscape, the contemporary botanical composition of these forests is not well described. We developed a baseline inventory of the vascular plant taxa present in six wetlands across a second-growth forest in southern New England and then compared community composition within and across forested wetlands. Despite similarities in soils, landscape position, and land use history, sites varied significantly from each other in canopy and understory composition. We found that the site-specific nature of wetland plant assemblages overwhelms commonalities between sites. Inventories of common habitats are important for conservation and management concerned with biodiversity, culturally important species, and game and non-game animals.

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