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


  • Samuel R. Bender Hillsdale College
  • Anthony L. Swinehart Hillsdale College
  • John P. Boardman Franklin College


eatland, bog, Sphagnum, Larix laricina, succession


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 change.






Environmental Quality