All of the different habitat types which we have catalogued in the GLM, along with their associated plant communities, are briefly summarized below. Representative species of each plant community are highlighted in the following descriptions, while a complete species list of vascular plants in the GLM can be found in the final report
document available on the
permanently flooded bodies of water, which form in the lowest-elevation portions of the meadows.
Wetland habitat: found on relatively flat land which is typically flooded for a few months in the spring and have a tendency to dry out later in the fall. The long duration of flooding prevents the establishment of trees, while the dry periods exclude many of the emergent species which would be common in permanently flooded
Forested floodplain habitat: exist in areas which are flooded for a relatively short period every spring, thus allowing for the establishment
Disturbed habitat: have been severely altered by anthropogenic disturbances. The two main types of disturbed habitats are agricultural land
Plant habitats and exotic species
As you learn more about the 4 habitats, and the 16 plant communities defined within, take note of the ratios of native to exotic species within each. Exotic species account for 23% of all the plants found in the Grand Lake Meadows. As you can see, exotic species are commonly found in disturbed areas such as roadsides and agricultural fields. Aquatic habitats and low shrub meadows generally have negligible numbers of exotic species.
Fig. 3: Enlarge
Number of native and exotic species within each habitat/community type.
Table 5: Enlarge
Number of species found in each habitat/community type and proportion of native and exotic species.