Submitted to: Iowa Academy of Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/23/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Although the massive destruction of Iowa's native plant communities following European settlement has been well documented, few attempts have been made to analyze the details of floristic change in response to this habitat loss. An existing baseline for the vascular flora of Ames, Iowa, derived from a published flora (1890) and more than 4,100 herbarium specimens collected in Ames (including 1,400 collected prior to 1900), has allowed us to undertake such an analysis for the flora of Ames. During an ongoing plant inventory (since 1991) we have discovered 733 vascular plant species occurring within 2 miles of the Ames city limits. We have added at least 59 new plant species to the Ames flora (including six species previously unknown in Iowa) but about 240 plant species documented to occur historically in Ames remain undiscovered. Detailed comparisons between the current and pre-1900 Ames floras (e.g., proportion of species native; proportions of species occurring in major habitat types; characteristics of species "lost" and "gained") will be presented along with observations about overall patterns of plant collection.