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Twenty-two midwestern U.S. national parks were studied to examine the similarities of their floras and analyses of the floras in each national park were used to construct groupings of these smaller sample areas at various similarity levels in order to classify larger floristic areas. The parks were not on average very similar based on Jaccard's similarity index. The maximum average park similarity was 21% (St. Croix National Scenic Riverway), and the maximum park pair similarity was just over 55% for Isle Royale National Park and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The average similarity of parks increased with park area and numbers of native species, and weakly decreased with the percentage of non-native species. Weak trends were observed with latitude and negative trends with longitude. Four park groups were partitioned by cluster analysis of species relative abundance data: 7 prairie parks, 6 northern parks, 4 intermediate parks and 5 southern parks. The average percentage of non-native species was ~33% in the prairie and southern park clusters, while percentage of evergreen perennials was 2 to 4 times greater in the northern parks (8%) compared with other clusters. Deciduous perennials approached 80% in the northern and intermediate park clusters, compared with about 70% for the prairie and southern clusters. Percentage of annuals was almost double in the prairie and southern clusters (average 24%) compared with the northern and intermediate clusters (average 13%).
Additional Publication Details
Similarities and life cycle distributions of floras of 22 national parks in the midwestern United States