Analysis of vegetation change on selected mountain summits at Acadia National Park

Lloyd, Erin.
Tom Wessels, MA
Department of Environmental Studies
The summit vegetation of Cadillac, Pemetic, and Sargent Mountains in Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine was examined in the summer months of 2000. The three summits have elevations of 1,530 feet; 1,248 feet; and 1,373 feet respectively. The purpose of the study was to compare and contrast results with a similar study done in 1992 by National Park Service personnel. Percent coverage and soil type and depth were recorded in square-meter plots placed along transects on each summit. In addition, two permanent plots were sampled on each summit. Data were analyzed for differences in mean percent plant coverage and species diversity. In addition, a two way indicator species (TWINSPAN) analysis was performed on the permanent plots, and a cluster analysis was performed on the transect plots, to ascertain if there were any notable differences in community composition on the summits between 1992 and 2000. There was a slight increase in overall mean percent plant coverage in the transect plots, and a slight decrease in mean percent plant coverage in the permanent plots in 2000. Species richness increased slightly on Cadillac Mountain, but decreased slightly on pemetic and Sargent Mountains, although the changes were negligible. Community composition in the permanent plots changed slightly from 1992 to 2000, and appeared to change more dramatically in the transect plots.

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