|dc.description.abstract||Vascular plant collections were made on the Natchez Trace Parkway over a 15 month
period beginning in August 2004. These collections along with previous work done by the
National Park Service (NPS) produced a flora of 750 genera and 2196 species in 167 families.
Five collection trips were made so as to include as much of the growing season as possible
(August 2004, March, May, July and October 2005). Specimens were collected from 500 sites
along the Parkway as well as at 50 quadrat locations. The largest families, by species numbers,
are Asteraceae (298 species), Poaceae (236 species), Cyperaceae (148 species), Fabaceae
(133 species) and Rosaceae (73 species), which accounted for 40.4% of the flora.
A Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) and TWINSPAN analysis were performed
on data collected from 49 sites along the length of the Natchez Trace Parkway (NATR). It was
found that the major environmental gradient (Axis 1) affecting the species composition of the site
was to be the level of disturbance. The sites with high levels of disturbance were characterized
as grassland field sites, while those areas with low levels of disturbance were characterized as
forested sites. The TWINSPAN analysis produced 29 groupings, of which eight were found to
be valid groupings.
Through the course of the study, almost 450 new species were added to the current
knowledge of the Natchez Trace Parkway by the NPS. In addition, one prospective endangered
species was located, which will aid the NPS in future management practices within the park.||