Impact of right-of-way construction on vegetation in the Red Lake Peatland, northern Minnesota
- 40 Downloads
During the winters of 1978–79 and 1979–80, a 500-kV electrical transmission right-of-way (r-o-w) was constructed across the Red Lake Peatland in northwestern Minnesota, the largest contiguous peatland in the lower 48 states of the USA. Immediately before, and for two years following construction, vascular vegetation was monitored within the r-o-w and in undisturbed control areas. Monitoring was carried out in five vegetation types: a thicket swamp, a low shrub bog, a graminoid fen, a treed bog, and a treed fen. Evaluation of construction impacts was based on vegetation structure, irrespective of species composition, and on community composition (species data for low shrubs and herbs). Construction eliminated trees from the r-o-w. Vegetation structure, excluding trees, was markedly altered in the two bog types and the treed fen type in the first postconstruction growing season. By the second season, measurable recovery to control levels had begun. The sample plots were placed into a previously developed vegetation classification system for the Red Lake Peatland, on the basis of herbs and low shrubs. There was a shift in composition in the low shrub bog and in the treed vegetation types following construction. Results of both methods of data analysis were consistent. Major vegetation changes following construction occurred in the low shrub bog and treed types. The open, low-stature fen types showed almost no changes related to construction. Even in the affected types, all vegetation strata except trees were returning to their preconstruction status by the second growing season following construction.
Key wordsHistosols Wetlands Transmission lines Organic soil Discriminant analysis
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Canada Soil Survey Committee. 1978. The Canadian system of soil classification. Canada Department of Agriculture publication 1646. 164 pp.Google Scholar
- Dixon, W. J. (chief ed.). 1981. BMDP statistical software. University of California Press, Berkeley. 727 pp.Google Scholar
- Glaser, P. H., G. A. Wheeler, E. Gorham, and H. E. Wright, Jr. 1981. The patterned mires of the Red Lake Peatland, northern Minnesota: vegetation, water chemistry and land forms.Journal of Ecology 69:575–599.Google Scholar
- Goldstein, R. A., and D. F. Grigal. 1984. Analysis of ecosystem dynamics and structure using numerical classification and ordination.In G. A. Knox (ed.), Ecosystem theory and application. Environmental monographs and symposia series. John Wiley and Sons, New York (in press).Google Scholar
- Heinselman, M. L. 1963. Forest sites, bog processes, and peatland types in the Glacial Lake Agassiz Region, Minnesota.Ecological Monographs 33:327–372.Google Scholar
- Jeglum, J. K., A. N. Boissonneau, and V. F. Haavisto. 1974. Toward a wetland classification for Ontario. Canadian Forestry Service, Great Lakes Forest Research Centre. Information report O-X-215. 54 pp. and appendix.Google Scholar
- Northern States Power Co. 1979. Request for proposal, unpublished. Northern States Power Company, Minneapolis, MN. 8 pp.Google Scholar
- Severson, L. S., H. D. Mooers, and T. J. Malterer. 1980. Inventory of peat resources of Koochiching County, Minnesota. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Minerals. Hibbing, MN.Google Scholar
- Snedecor, G. W., and W. G. Cochran. 1967. Statistical methods, 6th edn. Iowa State University Press, Ames, IA. 593 pp.Google Scholar
- Soil Survey Staff. 1975. Soil taxonomy. US Department of Agriculture Handbook 436. 754 pp.Google Scholar