Data from: Restored tallgrass prairies have reduced phylogenetic diversity compared with remnants
Barak, Rebecca S., Northwestern University
Williams, Evelyn W., Plant Science and Conservation; Chicago Botanic Garden; Glencoe IL USA
Hipp, Andrew L., Plant Science and Conservation; Chicago Botanic Garden; Glencoe IL USA
Bowles, Marlin L., Plant Science and Conservation; Chicago Botanic Garden; Glencoe IL USA
Carr, Gabriela M., Northwestern University
Sherman, Robert, Northwestern University
Larkin, Daniel J., University of Minnesota
Published Jan 24, 2018 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Barak, Rebecca S. et al. (2018). Data from: Restored tallgrass prairies have reduced phylogenetic diversity compared with remnants [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.90124
Ecological restoration is critical for mitigating habitat loss and providing ecosystem services. However, restorations often have lower diversity than remnant, reference sites. Phylogenetic diversity is an important component of biodiversity and ecosystem function that has only recently been used to evaluate restoration outcomes. To move towards prediction in the restoration of biodiversity, it is necessary to understand how phylogenetic diversity of restorations compares with that of reference sites, and where deficits are found, to evaluate factors constraining phylogenetic diversity.
We quantified plant taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity in eastern tallgrass prairie, one of the most endangered ecosystems on earth. We measured diversity at large (site) and small (plot) scales in 19 restored prairies and compared patterns with those from 41 remnant prairies. To evaluate how environmental conditions and management actions influence outcomes, we tested the effects of soil properties and seed mix composition on diversity of restorations.
Restored prairies were less phylogenetically diverse than remnants at both spatial scales. On the other hand, the total species richness of remnant and restored prairies did not significantly differ, but remnants had higher native richness. Restored communities were taxonomically and phylogenetically distinct from remnants.
Soil properties (moisture and pH) influenced phylogenetic diversity and composition. There were positive relationships between the taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity of seed mixes and resulting diversity of planted assemblages (excluding volunteer species). Species in seed mixes were more closely related than expected by chance, and several clades found in remnant prairies were missing from seed mixes.
Synthesis and applications. Restored tallgrass prairies had lower phylogenetic diversity than remnant prairies, which may contribute to the widely observed phenomenon of restorations not being functionally equivalent to reference sites. It is encouraging for restoration efforts that seed mix phylogenetic diversity predicted phylogenetic diversity of planted assemblages. This indicates that designing phylogenetically diverse seed mixes for restoration is beneficial. In addition, clades found in reference sites that are missing from restoration seed mixes could be added to new or existing restorations to reduce gaps in phylogenetic diversity. Further work on the effects of management on phylogenetic diversity is needed to advance restoration of biodiversity.
Plot level plant community data from restored tallgrass prairie in Illinois. Data from transect surveys. Each site was sampled using 2 50 meter transects. Study plots (0.25 m2 round quadrats) plots were placed on each transect, at 5 meter intervals, for a total of 20 plots per site. Vegetation data is presence/absence.
Site level plant community data consisting of data collected from transects and from a directed search at each site. During the directed search, two researchers walked through each site for at least 60 minutes, identifying and recording species. Data is presence/absence.
Plant composition data for seed mixes planted to establish restored prairies in Illinois.
Newick tree file consisting of a phylogenetic tree of 589 species found in remnant and restored prairies, and seed mixes.
Plot level soil data from restored prairies in Illinois. For each sample, we measured soil pH, electrical conductivity (EC), gravimetric soil moisture (GSM), and organic matter by mass loss on ignition (LOI).
National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1354426, DEB-1354551 and DBI-1461007