Plant Species Richness on a Transmission Right-of-Way in Southeastern Pennsylvania, U.S. Using Integrated Vegetation Management
Richard H. Yahner, Richard T. Yahner, and Bradley D. Ross
Abstract: The Green Lane Research and Demonstration Area, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, U.S., has been studied each year since 1987, making this 21-year-old project extremely valuable as a source of information on the effects of mechanical and herbicidal maintenance on flora and fauna along an electric transmission right-of-way (ROW). In this article, our objective was to document plant species richness among treatment units and in relation to wire and border zones on the ROW. We noted the presence of plant species from late May through mid-August in 2005 and 2006 and observed 114 vascular plant species in the ten treatment units; 35 (31%) of these species were exotic. Twenty-seven (24%) species were widespread on the ROW and seven of these (26%) were exotic. The total number of species per unit ranged from 46 (40%) species in handcut units to 57 (50%) in stem–foliage spray units. Of the total number of species, 103 (90%) and 81 (71%) occurred in wire and border zones, respectively. The number of exotic species was higher in wire zones (33 [29%]) than in border zones (22 [19%]).
Keywords: Exotic species; herbicides; integrated vegetation management; rights-of-way; southeastern Pennsylvania; species richness; tree control; vegetation