Purdue University Graduate School
Joanna Stebing Thesis.pdf (10.93 MB)

Vascular Flora and Plant Communities of the Dorothy and Ray Garman Preserve, Allen county, Indiana.

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posted on 2024-04-25, 16:16 authored by Joanna Rose StebingJoanna Rose Stebing

The Dorothy and Ray Garman Preserve is a 35.4 hectare tract of hydro-mesophytic forest that includes ephemeral pools and scrub-shrub wetlands with Cephalanthus occidentalis as the dominant species component, a previously farmed agricultural field (now planted with native trees), and areas within that field which have reverted into wetlands. Garman is located within the Cedar Creek Conservation Area of Allen County, a region of important biodiversity in northeast Indiana. To document the structure and composition of the plant communities at this property, I utilized random and systematic plot samping, as well as a meandering floristic survey. The focus of my efforts was to explore the forested portion of the property and its immediate margins. I counted 150 species, representing 53 genera and 50 families. Using the Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) method, eleven species had coefficient of conservatism values of 8-10, ten of which were herbaceous and one arboreal species (Populus heterophylla). This indicates that Garman is a relatively high-quality site with some quality remnant components. The site has an FQA value of 46.4, and the mean coefficient of conservatism was 3.8. Furthermore, 95.3 percent of the total species documented were native, a relatively high mark for a fragment within a larger suburban area. Species potentially indicative of bog habitats such as Sphagnum fimbriatum (a non-vascular species of interest), Ilex verticillata, and Viola nephrophylla, as well as historical occurrences of other peatland communities in the area, indicate that Garman may have historically been a true bog that has since senesced into buttonbush wetland type due to anthropogenic impact. Overall, the vascular plant flora of Garman demonstrates that this site is of unique importance to the broader Cedar Creek Conservation Area, since it contains several plant species not present at other sites within this region, as well as intact natural plant communities.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Biological Sciences

Campus location

  • Fort Wayne

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Jordan Marshall

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Benjamin Dattilo

Additional Committee Member 2

Bruce Kingsbury

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