Presentation Title

Plant community composition patterns in urban parks of Portland, Oregon

Abstract

Urban parks are biodiversity hotspots and are integral components of green infrastructure as development increases in urban areas. The purpose of this study is to better understand the relationships between plant community composition, structural patterns, and environmental and species traits in different types of urban parks in Portland, Oregon. A stratified random sampling design was used to select 15 parks in Portland of three different types based on use: 1) recreational-active use parks, 2) natural-passive use parks, and 3) multi-use parks. Within each of the selected parks, plant species/cover and environmental data were collected in five 400-m2 square plots. In terms of taxonomic composition, the data include a total of 178 plant species belonging to 141 genera and 65 families. The average species richness and biodiversity indices (Shannon-Weiner and Simpson) were highest in natural-passive use parks, followed by multi-use parks, and then recreational-active use parks. This study describes a range of patterns for native, non-native, invasive species in different parks as well as plant form (i.e., trees, sapling/shrubs, herbs, vines), various environmental variables, and plant traits (i.e., monocots, dicots, perennial, etc.). The plant community composition information, cluster analysis groups, non-metric multidimensional scaling ordinations with joint plots, and hilltop plots can be used to highlight particular parks and/or plants, as well as provide information for potential management actions. Overall, this plant community composition research may assist park managers in their aims to promote native species cover, reduce invasive species cover, or achieve additional management goals for Portland’s urban parks.

Subjects

Conservation biology, Habitat assessment, Land/watershed management

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Plant community composition patterns in urban parks of Portland, Oregon

Urban parks are biodiversity hotspots and are integral components of green infrastructure as development increases in urban areas. The purpose of this study is to better understand the relationships between plant community composition, structural patterns, and environmental and species traits in different types of urban parks in Portland, Oregon. A stratified random sampling design was used to select 15 parks in Portland of three different types based on use: 1) recreational-active use parks, 2) natural-passive use parks, and 3) multi-use parks. Within each of the selected parks, plant species/cover and environmental data were collected in five 400-m2 square plots. In terms of taxonomic composition, the data include a total of 178 plant species belonging to 141 genera and 65 families. The average species richness and biodiversity indices (Shannon-Weiner and Simpson) were highest in natural-passive use parks, followed by multi-use parks, and then recreational-active use parks. This study describes a range of patterns for native, non-native, invasive species in different parks as well as plant form (i.e., trees, sapling/shrubs, herbs, vines), various environmental variables, and plant traits (i.e., monocots, dicots, perennial, etc.). The plant community composition information, cluster analysis groups, non-metric multidimensional scaling ordinations with joint plots, and hilltop plots can be used to highlight particular parks and/or plants, as well as provide information for potential management actions. Overall, this plant community composition research may assist park managers in their aims to promote native species cover, reduce invasive species cover, or achieve additional management goals for Portland’s urban parks.