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Vegetation of Managed Grasslands in the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Chadbourne, Kelly A., Anderson, James T.
Southeastern naturalist 2015 v.14 no.sp7 pp. 187-202
Achillea millefolium, Dactylis glomerata, Hypericum perforatum, Phalaris arundinacea, Solidago, conservation areas, grasses, habitats, logging, meadows, mowing, pastures, species diversity, wildlife
Much of Canaan Valley was converted to agricultural uses following logging in the early 1900s. More recently, some land has undergone succession from grassland to scrub-shrub habitat. We evaluated vegetation and habitat structure in mowed and unmowed hayfields and idle pastures during 1999 and 2000. We observed 71 plant species on 3 hayfields and 3 pastures. Solidago ulginosa (Bog Goldenrod), Solidago rugosa (Wrinkle-leaved Goldenrod), Achillea millefolium (Yarrow), Dactylis glomerata (Orchard Grass), Phalaris arundinacea (Reed Canary Grass), and Hypericum densiflorum (Glade St. John's Wort) were the most common taxa. Species composition and abundance varied by field type and mowing treatment. Vegetation was taller in pastures than in hayfields; standing dead vegetation was greater in unmowed plots than in mowed plots. Mowing is useful for maintaining vegetative structure for wildlife and may influence plant species composition and abundance.