Applications of island biogeography
Albers, Gayle L.
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This work reviews Georgia coastal policy with respect to the bridging of back-barrier islands (BBIs), or marsh hammocks. It characterized plant and soil composition on BBIs near Sapelo Island, Georgia. Species richness of fourteen BBIs was examined according to the theory of island biogeography. Eighty-three species were observed in 52 100 m2 plots. Quercus virginiana and Ilex vomitoria were the dominant overstory and understory plants, respectively, in these maritime forest communities. Linear regression analyses showed that biogeographic variables contributed to ~30% of the variance; island size and origin were important predictors of diversity. Soil analyses indicated fine sands with low nitrogen (= 2%) and variable carbon values (1.7-48%). Nonmetric multidimensional scaling showed differences in species composition based on plot location and soil C:N ratios that were not reflected in diversity analyses. Resource managers may use these findings to designate sensitive areas and develop policies that promote their sustainable use.