Seventeen Years of Change in two Sphagnum Bogs in Noble County, Indiana

Samuel R. Bender, Anthony L. Swinehart, John P. Boardman


This investigation continues long-term monitoring of vegetation change in Tamarack
and Hickory Bogs at the Merry Lea Environmental Center in Noble County. Tamarack Bog was
drained in 1899, accelerating its succession. Over the past 100 years, it has been visited
by several notable scientists, who documented aspects of its vegetation, including Charles
R. Dryer (1899), Charles C. Deam (1916), Ray C. Friesner (1935), and Alton A. Lindsey
(1972). In 1993, A. L. Swinehart conducted the first systematic, quantitative study of
Tamarack Bog, as well as Hickory Bog (a tiny Sphagnum bog nestled within the crest of an
esker). The same quadrats used in 1993 were used in the present study (2010) to examine
changes in the peatlands over the past 17 years. Indicator species analysis, multiple
response permutation procedure, and non-metric multidimensional scaling were used to
analyze changes in frequency, cover, and presence / absence. The flora in undisturbed
Hickory Bog is unchanged, whereas, Tamarack Bog has exhibited significant


eatland, bog, Sphagnum, Larix laricina, succession

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