Advertisement

Wetlands

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 718–735 | Cite as

Properties and performance of the Floristic Quality Index in Great Lakes coastal wetlands

  • Michael Bourdaghs
  • Carol A. Johnston
  • Ronald R. Regal

Abstract

The Floristic Quality Index (FQI) has been proposed as a tool that can be used to identify areas of high conservation value, monitor sites over time, assess the anthropogenic impacts affecting an area, and measure the ecological condition of an area. FQI is based on the Coefficient of Conservatism (C), which is a numerical score assigned to each plant species in a local flora, primarily from best professional judgment, that reflects the likelihood that a species is found in natural habitats. FQI is computed by multiplying the mean Coefficient of Conservatism (C) by the square root of species richness for an observational unit. Great Lakes coastal wetlands were used to assess the properties and performance of various species richness, Coefficient of Conservatism, and Floristic Quality indices, as well as compare C-value assignments from two U.S. states (Wisconsin and Michigan). FQI and species richness increased with sampling area according to a power function, but C more or less remained constant. Sampling schemes should therefore focus on controlling sampling area and minimally sampling each community type at a site. In some cases, Wisconsin and Michigan assigned different values of C to the same species, highlighting possible effects due to the somewhat subjective nature of C-value assignment. Coefficient of Conservatism and Floristic Quality indices were better at discriminating differences between sites, independent of a condition gradient, than species richness alone, but neither index type outperformed the other. Both types of indices were also found to be acceptable ecological indicators of condition, although Floristic Quality indices consistently outperformed Coefficient of Conservatism indices in this capacity. Regardless of the subjectivity involved with the assignment of C-values and that ‘floristic quality’ is a human concept and not a true ecosystem property, both Coefficient of Conservatism and Floristic Quality indices seem to be effective indicators of condition in Great Lakes coastal wetland

Key Words

Floristic Quality Index (FQICoefficient of Conservatism species richness biological indicator wetland condition condition gradient species-area relationship discriminant ability Great Lakes coastal wetland 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Andreas, B. K. and R. W. Lichvar. 1995. Floristic index for establishing assessment standards: a case study for northern Ohio. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS, USA. Technical Report WRP-DE-8.Google Scholar
  2. Arrhenius, O. 1921. Species and area. Journal of Ecology 9: 95–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials). 1997. ASTM E 1923, Standard Guide for Sampling Terrestrial and Wetlands Vegetation. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, USA.Google Scholar
  4. Bedford, B. L., M. R. Walbridge, and A. Aldous. 1999. Patterns in nutrient availability and plant diversity of temperate North American wetlands. Ecology 80: 2151–2169.Google Scholar
  5. Bernthal, T. W. 2003. Development of a floristic quality assessment methodology for Wisconsin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Integrated Science Services, Madison, WI, USA. PUB-SS-986 2003.Google Scholar
  6. Bourdaghs, M. 2004. Properties and performance of the floristic quality index in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. M.S. Thesis. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.Google Scholar
  7. Cohen, M. J., S. Carstenn, and C. R. Lane. 2004. Floristic quality indices for biotic assessment of depressional marsh condition in Florida. Ecological Applications 14: 784–794.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dale, V. H. and S. C. Beyeler. 2001. Challenges in the development and use of ecological indicators. Ecological Indicators 1: 3–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Danz, N. P., R. R. Regal, G. J. Niemi, V. Brady, T. Hollenhorst, L. B. Johnson, G. E. Host, J. M. Hanowski, C. Johnston, T. Brown, J. Kingston, and J. R. Kelly. 2005. Environmentally stratified sampling design for the development of Great Lakes environmental indicators. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 102: 41–65.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Detenbeck, N. E., S. M. Galatowitsch, J. Atkinson, and H. Ball. 1999. Evaluating perturbations and developing restoration strategies for inland wetlands in the Great Lakes basin. Wetlands 19: 789–820.Google Scholar
  11. Fennessy, S., M. Gernes, J. Mack, and D. H. Wardrop. 2001. Methods for evaluating wetland condition: using vegetation to assess environmental conditions in wetlands. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Washington, DC, USA. EPA 903-R-003-003.Google Scholar
  12. Fore, L. S. 2003. Developing biological indicators: lessons learned from mid-Atlantic streams. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Information and MidAtlantic Integrated Assessment Program, Region 3, Ft. Meade, MD, USA. EPA 903-R-003-003.Google Scholar
  13. Francis, C. M., M. J. W. Austen, J. M. Bowles, and W. B. Draper. 2000. Assessing floristic quality in southern Ontario woodlands. Natural Areas Journal 20: 66–77.Google Scholar
  14. Galatowitsch, S. M., N. O. Anderson, and P. D. Ascher. 1999. Invasiveness in wetland plants in temperate North America. Wetlands 19: 733–755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gleason, H. A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjcacent Canada, second edition. New York Botanical Garden, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  16. Herdendorf, C. E., S. M. Hartley, and M. D. Barnes (eds.). 1981. Fish and wildlife resources of the Great Lakes coastal wetlands within the United States, Vol. 1: overview. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, USA. FWS/OBS-81/02-vl.Google Scholar
  17. Herman, K. D., L. A. Masters, M. P. Penskar, A. A. Reznicek, G. S. Wilhelm, W. W. Brodovich, and K. P. Gardiner. 2001. Floristic quality assessment with wetland categories and examples of computer applications for the state of Michigan, second edition. Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Division, Natural Heritage Program, In partnership with U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rose Lake Plant Materials Center, East Lansing, MI, USA.Google Scholar
  18. Hudon, C. 1997. Impact of water level fluctuations on St. Lawrence River aquatic vegetation. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 54: 2853–2865.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jackson, L. E., J. C. Kurtz, and W. S. Fisher (eds.). 2000. Evaluation guidelines for ecological indicators. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA. EPA 620 R-99 005.Google Scholar
  20. Jurik, T. W., S. C. Wang, and A. G. van der Valk. 1994. Effects of sediment load on seedling emergence from wetland seed banks. Wetlands 14: 159–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kadlec, R. H. and F. B. Bevis. 1990. Wetlands and wastewater: Kinross, Michigan. Wetlands 10: 77–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Keddy, P. A. and A. A. Reznicek. 1986. Great Lakes vegetation dynamics: the role of fluctuating water levels and buried seeds. Journal of Great Lakes Research 12: 25–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kempton, R. A. 1979. The structure of species abundance and measurement of diversity. Biometrics 35: 307–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Keough, J. R., T. A. Thompson, G. R. Guntenspergen, and D. A. Wilcox. 1999. Hydrogeomorphic factors and ecosystem responses in coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes. Wetlands 19: 821–834.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kercher, S. M., C. B. Frieswyk, and J. B. Zedler. 2003. Effects of sampling teams and estimation methods on the assessment of plant cover. Journal of Vegetation Science 14: 899–906.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Keys, J. E., Jr., C. A. Carpenter, S. L. Hooks, F. G. Koeneg, W. H. McNab, W. Russell, and M. L. Smith. 1995. Ecological units of the eastern United States: first approximation. Map (scale 1:3,500,000). U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Atlanta, GA, USA. Technical Publication R8-TP 21.Google Scholar
  27. Ladd, D. 1993. The Missouri floristic quality assessment system. The Nature Conservancy, St. Louis, MO, USA.Google Scholar
  28. Lopez, R. D. and M. S. Fennessy. 2002. Testing the floristic quality assessment index as an indicator of wetland condition. Ecological Applications 12: 487–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mack, J. J. 2004. Integrated Wetland Assessment Program Part 4: Vegetation index of biotic integrity (VIBI) and tiered aquatic life uses (TALUs) for Ohio wetlands. Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Division of Surface Water, Wetland Ecology Group, Columbus, OH, USA. Technical Report WET/2004-4.Google Scholar
  30. Magurran, A. E. 1988. Ecological Diversity and its Measurement. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, USA.Google Scholar
  31. Matthews, J. W. 2003. Assessment of the floristic quality index for use in Illinois, USA, wetlands. Natural Areas Journal 23: 53–60.Google Scholar
  32. Maynard, L. and D. Wilcox. 1997. State of the lakes ecosystem conference 1996 background paper: Coastal wetlands. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes National Program Office, Chicago, IL, USA. EPA 905-R97-01 5b.Google Scholar
  33. Mensing, D. M., S. M. Galatowitsch, and J. R. Tester. 1998. Anthropogenic effects on the biodiversity of riparian wetlands of a northern temperate landscape. Journal of Environmental Management 53: 349–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mortsch, L. D. 1998. Assessing the impact of climate change on the Great Lakes shoreline wetlands. Climatic Change 40: 391–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mushet, D. M., N. H. Euliss, Jr., and T. H. Shaffer. 2002. Floristic quality assessment of one natural and three restored wetland complexes in North Dakota, USA. Wetlands 22: 126–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. NGPFQAP (Northern Great Plains Floristic Quality Assessment Panel). 2001. Coefficients of conservatism for the vascular flora of the Dakotas and adjacent grasslands. U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, ND, USA. Information and Technology Report USGS/BRD/ITR-2001-001.Google Scholar
  37. Nichols, S. A. 2001. Long-term change in Wisconsin lake plant communities. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 16: 1–13.Google Scholar
  38. Niemi, G. J. and M. E. McDonald. 2004. Application of Ecological Indicators. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 35: 89–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. NRC (National Research Council). 2000. Ecological Indicators for the Nation. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, USA.Google Scholar
  40. Oldham, M. J., W. D. Bakowsky, and D. A. Sutherland. 1995. Floristic quality assessment system for southern Ontario. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Information Centre, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.Google Scholar
  41. Otte, M. L. 2001. What is stress to a wetland plant? Environmental and Experimental Botany 46: 195–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Poling, T. C., M. G. Banker, and L. M. Jablonski. 2003. Quadratlevel floristic quality index reflects shifts in composition of a restored tallgrass prairie (Ohio). Ecological Restoration 21: 144–145.Google Scholar
  43. Rapport, D. J., H. A. Regier, and T. C. Hutchinson. 1985. Ecosystem behavior under stress. American Naturalist 125: 617–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rooney, T. P. and D. A. Rogers. 2002. The modified floristic quality index. Natural Areas Journal 22: 340–344.Google Scholar
  45. Rosenzweig, M. L. 1995. Species Diversity in Space and Time. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.Google Scholar
  46. Rothrock, P. E. 2004. Floristic quality assessment in Indiana: the concept, use, and development of coefficients of conservatism. Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Office of Water Quality, Indianapolis, IN, USA. Final report for ARN A305-4-53, EPA Wetland Program Development Grant CD975586-01.Google Scholar
  47. Sanzone, S. and A. McElroy (eds.). 1998. Ecological impacts and evaluation criteria for the use of structures in marsh management. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Science Advisory Board, Ecological Processes and Effects Committee, Marsh Management Subcommittee, Washington, DC, USA. EPA-S AB-EPEC-98-003.Google Scholar
  48. Swink, F. A. and G. S. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region, fourth edition. Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL, USA.Google Scholar
  49. Taft, J. B., G. S. Wilhelm, D. M. Ladd, and L. A. Masters. 1997. Floristic quality assessment for vegetation in Illinois: a method for assessing vegetation integrity. Erigenia 15: 3–95.Google Scholar
  50. Tufford, D. L., H. N. McKellar, Jr., and J. R. Hussey. 1998. Instream nonpoint source nutrient prediction with land-use proximity and seasonality. Journal of Environmental Quality 27: 100–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Voss, E. G. 1972. Michigan Flora: a Guide to the Identification and Occurrence of the Native and Naturalized Seed Plants of the State —Part I Gymnosperms and Monocots. Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomington Hills, MI, USA.Google Scholar
  52. Voss, E. G. 1985. Michigan Flora: a Guide to the Identification and Occurrence of the Native and Naturalized Seed Plants of the State —Part II Dicots (Saururaceae-Cornaceae). Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomington Hills, MI, USA.Google Scholar
  53. Voss, E. G. 1996. Michigan Flora: a Guide to the Identification and Occurrence of the Native and Naturalized Seed Plants of the State —Part III Dicots (Pyrolaceae-Compositae). Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomington Hills, MI, USA.Google Scholar
  54. Washington, H. G. 1984. Diversity, biotic, and similarity indices: a review with special relevance to aquatic ecosystems. Water Resources 18: 653–694.Google Scholar
  55. Wilcox, D. A., J. E. Meeker, P. L. Hudson, B. J. Armitage, M. G. Black, and D. G. Uzarski. 2002. Hydrologic variability and the application of index of biotic integrity metrics to wetlands: a Great Lakes evaluation. Wetlands 22: 588–615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wilhelm, G. S. 1977. Ecological assessment of open land areas in Kane County, Illinois. Kane County Urban Development, Geneva, IL, USA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Bourdaghs
    • 1
  • Carol A. Johnston
    • 2
  • Ronald R. Regal
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Water and the Environment Natural Resources Research InstituteUniversity of Minnesota DuluthDuluthUSA
  2. 2.Center for Biocomplexity StudiesSouth Dakota State UniversityBrookingsUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of Minnesota DuluthDuluthUSA

Personalised recommendations